Gout is a very common, painful form of arthritis which causes swelling, redness and stiffness of the joints. Gout is caused by increased levels of uric acid in the tissues and blood from abnormal metabolism. Eating certain foods rich in purines such as liver and dried beans can elevate the bodys level of uric acid. These increased levels of uric acid can also cause kidney stones. Gout usually affects the big toe and can later attack ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. If untreated, gout can result in permanent joint and kidney damage.