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Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines — substances that are found naturally in your body.
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. The symptoms of gout are due to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints and the body's response to them. Gout most classically affects the joint in the base of the big toe.
The underlying cause of gout is different from those things that trigger a gout attack. Gout is the result of excess uric acid in the body, a condition called hyperuricemia. Uric acid is a substance that normally forms when the body breaks down purines, which are found in human cells and in many foods.
Foods that are rich in purines, main gout causing chemicals include red meat, sugary beverages, asparagus, spinach, turkey, beer, herring and scallops. Our body also produces its own uric acid and normally most of the excess ones are eliminated from our body, but in certain conditions,...
Causes of gout. The buildup of uric acid in your blood from the breakdown of purines causes gout. Certain conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders or dehydration, make your body produce too much uric acid. A kidney or thyroid problem, or an inherited disorder, can make it harder for your body to remove excess uric acid.
In gout, crystals of uric acid are deposited in the joints, where they cause a type of arthritis called gouty arthritis. These same crystals can also deposit in the kidneys, where they can cause kidney stones. There are three main causes of the high levels of uric acid that lead to gout:
Hyperuricemia is an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood. In the pH conditions of body fluid, uric acid exists largely as urate, the ion form. The amount of urate in the body depends on the balance between the amount of purines eaten in food, the amount of urate synthesised within the body (e.g., through cell turnover), and the amount of urate that is excreted in urine or through the gastrointestinal tract. In humans, the upper end of the normal range is 360 µmol/L (6 mg/dL) for women and 400 µmol/L (6.8 mg/dL) for men.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, tender, hot, and swollen joint. Pain typically comes on rapidly, reaching maximal intensity in less than twelve hours. The joint at the base of the big toe is affected in about half of cases. It may also result in tophi, kidney stones, or urate nephropathy. Gout is due to persistently elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. This occurs from a combination of diet, other health problems, and genetic factors. At high levels, uric acid crystallizes and the crystals deposit in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues, resulting in an attack of gout. Gout occurs more commonly in those who regularly eat meat or seafood, drink beer, or are overweight. Diagnosis of gout may be confirmed by the presence of crystals in the joint fluid or in a deposit outside the joint. Blood uric acid levels may be normal during an attack. Treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, or colchicine improves symptoms. Once the acute attack subsides, levels of uric acid can be lowered via lifestyle changes and in those with frequent attacks, allopurinol or probenecid provides long-term prevention. Taking vitamin C and eating a diet high in low-fat dairy products may be preventive. Gout affects about 1 to 2% of the Western population at some point in their lives. It has become more common in recent decades. This is believed to be due to increasing risk factors in the population, such as metabolic syndrome, longer life expectancy, and changes in diet. Older males are most commonly affected. Gout was historically known as "the disease of kings" or "rich man's disease". It has been recognized at least since the time of the ancient Egyptians.