By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gout affects over 8 million Americans.

Scientists believe that increases in obesity and high blood pressure are reasons for the rise in this condition.

Gout is an extremely painful inflammatory arthritis triggered by crystallization of uric acid in the joints that can cause severe tenderness and swelling.

There are effective medications to treat gout but one of the best weapons is losing weight and eating a diet that is less rich. Back in the middle ages, gout was most associated with royalty, wealth, and gluttony.

Now that we know more we realize that people with gout either eat too much uric acid or they don’t excrete enough of it. Although many physicians are able to treat gout if you have specific concerns the type of physician trained in that specific area is a rheumatologist.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer with gout.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor