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Gout

The cause of gout is usually that the body produces too much uric acid or cannot eliminate it quickly enough.

What is Gout?

Gout is usually more common in men and the risk of being affected increases with age. Women who suffer from gout usually tend to experience symptoms only after menopause. For many people, gout is a recurring condition where they may experience several gout attacks over the course of a year. Sometimes these attacks can be sporadic, but most suffer at least once more within a year. In some cases, gout can lead to long-term inflammation that affects several joints at the same time. This can be particularly painful and disabling. In more unusual situations, gout can develop into a chronically troublesome condition where the person experiences constant or recurring pain and joint problems.

Symptoms include

The symptoms of gout can vary and the most common symptoms include:< /p>

  • Gout attacks: Sudden and severe pain attacks are a characteristic feature of gout. These attacks usually affect one joint, usually the big toe, but they can also occur in other joints such as knees, ankles, hands or wrists.

  • Joint swelling and redness >: The affected joint may become swollen, red and warm during a gout attack. This is the result of the inflammation caused by the uric acid crystals.

  • Severe pain: The pain of a gout attack is usually very intense and sharp. It can be so painful that it affects the ability to use the affected joint.

  • Tenderness: Touching or pressing on the affected joint can be very painful during an attack.

  • Fever: Sometimes gout attacks can be accompanied by a mild fever.

  • Reduced joint mobility: After a gout attack, joint mobility may take time to return to normal.

Causes Gout

Gout is mainly caused by a high level of uric acid in the body which can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Uric acid is a natural byproduct of the body's metabolism, especially when it breaks down purines. There are several factors and causes that can increase the risk of developing gout:

  • Diet: A diet rich in purines can increase the production of uric acid in the body. Purines are found in foods such as red meat, seafood, organ meats, some fish and some alcoholic beverages, especially beer.

  • Overweight and obesity: Overweight people have a higher risk of developing gout because excess body fat can increase the production of uric acid and reduce the body's ability to eliminate it.

  • Heredity: If there is a family history of gout, the risk is higher because there is a hereditary component.

  • Age and sex: The risk of gout increases with age and men generally run greater risk of developing gout than women. However, women are at increased risk after menopause.

  • Medications: Certain medications such as certain diuretics and drugs that lower blood pressure can increase uric acid levels and increase the risk of gout.

  • Kidney diseases: Kidney diseases can affect the ability to eliminate uric acid from the body and thus increase the risk of gout.

It is important to note that although these factors increase the risk of gout, it does not necessarily mean that a person with these risk factors will develop gout. Following a healthy diet, managing weight and avoiding excess alcohol can help reduce the risk and prevent gout.