Advanced Health Conditions

Gout

  • 11-28-2012
  • Categorized in: G

What is Gout

More than 2.2 million Americans suffer with Gout.

Gout (or Hyperuricemia), is a form of arthritis caused by uric acid crystal deposits that accumulate in the joints. Most people will experience sharp pain and swelling in the lower joints (toes, ancles, knees). The effected area usually becomes red, swollen and extremely sensitive to the touch.

 

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Uric acid comes from the natural breakdown of the genetic material contained within the food we eat. Some foods contain large amounts of purines, especially red meats and organ meats (such as liver and kidneys), as well as some shellfish and alcohol. Purines are broken down to uric acid in the body. Uric acid in normal amounts remains dissolved in the blood and easily passes through the kidneys. However, uric acid in high amounts makes a person more likely to develop.

 

Doctors consider Gout to be progressive and incurable. Most people who suffer with Gout slowly begin to accumulate uric acid crystals in the joints that form lumps under the skin (often referred to as "tophi"). Over time, gout attacks may occur more frequently, involve more joints, have more severe symptoms, and last longer. Long-term, this accumulation can have a devastating effects on the body leading to permanent joint damage and deformity.


The amount of uric acid in your blood can change depending on what you eat, your overall health, how much alcohol you drink and what medicines you are taking, as well as in response to a sudden illness.


Prevention Tips

  • If gout runs in the family, you should limit your intake of alcohol, fats, and foods that are more likely to increase uric acid level in the body.
  • Alcohol, especially beer, can quickly bring on an attack of gout.
  • You should watch their weight with extra care.
  • Blood and urine tests can be used to determine your uric acid levels and potential risk of a gout attack.
  • Medications can also help prevent gout attacks in people with multiple episodes. These medications usually focus on decreasing the production of uric acid in the body.