Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gout, Gout, Gout - I Hate Gout

Gout is caused when the body produces too much uric acid. This uric acid is a waste product, when the body produces normal levels of this product it has no problem getting rid of it. It is usually expelled from the body in urine. However when the there are high levels of uric acid in the body, it is not able to break this substance down down efficiently. This condition is known as hyperuricema. When an individual suffers from gout it's because the uric acid has turned into crystals, that have lodged themselves under the skin causing excruciating pain, discomfort, and inflammation.

Lets take a deeper look at how these crystals form.

It all starts with a substance called purine which is part of the human diet, the body metabolises this substance and uric acid is produced as a waste product. This waste product then reacts with sodium ions in the body and forms a substance called mono-sodium urate (MSU). MSU takes the form of insoluble salt crystals and these crystals lodge themselves in the joints of the body. However this does not bring up swelling and pain immediately, the swelling occurs because the body recognizes these crystals as foreign bodies and as a result it fights the crystals with white blood cells. Inflammation of the skin suddenly develops as the result of this immunologic reaction, causing severe pain.

Gout doesn't affect every one in the same way as in, some people tend suffer more frequent gout attacks than others. There are multiple reasons for this, one of them is gender. Research suggests that men are at a significantly higher risk of developing gout than women. This is believed to be due to the fact that men have higher levels of uric acid than women.

Genetics is another cause of gout, research suggests which a quarter of gout sufferers have have a family history of the condition.

Another cause of gout is lifestyle and diet, if you consume distinct foods such as seafood you are more likely to develop gout. Seafood contains purines which raise the levels of uric acid in the body when it is broken down. However do bare in mind not all seafoods are high in purine..

Another cause of gout is the consumption of extreme alcohol. Obese people are also at higher risk of developing gout.

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