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Gout attacks the foot of a 65-year-old man. Gout is a form of arthritis that isn’t fatal though can be agonizing. The condition is caused by a buildup of a waste product in the blood called uric acid, which is normally eliminated from the body through urine, according to the U.K.’s National Health Service. Uric acid can cause needle-like crystals to form, which seep into joints and cause inflammation.