The presence of uric acid in the blood is pretty normal. But if its levels go above the healthy range, it can result in several health issues, one of the major ones being gout. Uric acid is a product of the metabolic breakdown of purines. The condition is not only a usual and complex form of arthritis but also can affect anyone at any age.
If one produces too much uric acid or the kidneys do not function optimally, it results in the formation of tiny sharp crystals in and around the joints, making one have sudden and severe pains.
Symptoms of gout
The signs and symptoms of too much uric acid or gout occur suddenly and mostly happen at night. Some of the common ones are:
- Intense joint pain – Gout often manifests around the big toe, though it can affect any joint. The other joints most affected are the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. The pain is probably more intense within the first 4-12 hours after it starts.
- Inflammation and redness – The affected joints or parts become swollen, tender, warm, and also red.
- Lingering discomforts – After the severe pain reduces, some joint discomfort might last several days to a few weeks. There are high chances of later attacks staying longer and affecting more joints.
- Limited range of motion – If gout progresses, it may become challenging when it comes to moving your joints usually.
Causes of gout
The condition occurs as a result of the formation of urate crystals around a joint, leading to inflammation and severe pain of gout attack. The primary cause of gout is the build-up of too much uric acid in the body, a condition referred to as hyperuricemia.
Uric acid is produced by the body to help in breaking down purines, naturally occurring chemicals found in foods such as red meat and organic meats, such as the liver. Seafood such as tuna and trout have high purines levels as well.
Some beverages like alcohol and drinks sweetened with fructose can cause increased production of uric acid. This acid dissolves typically in the blood, passes through the kidneys, and ends up in urine. Now and then, the body secretes excess uric acid, or the kidneys discharge very little uric acid.
When this takes place, the acid builds up, forming sharp urate crystals in a joint or the surrounding tissues that cause pain, inflammation, and swelling. Someone is likely to have gout if they have high levels of uric acid. Here are some factors that increase the levels of uric acid in the body.
Diet – Too much intake of red meat and shellfish, together with drinking beverages sweetened with fructose, can lead to high uric acid levels, which increases the risk of gout. Consumption of alcohol, especially beer, also increases the chances of gout.
Weight – If someone is overweight, the body generates too much uric acid, and the kidney has a difficult time excreting it, causing gout.
Medical conditions – Certain diseases and existing conditions like untreated high blood pressure and chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and kidney disease can result in gout.
Family history of gout – If there was a member of your family who had gout, you are most likely to develop the disease.
Age and sex – Gout mainly affects men because women tend to have lower levels of uric acids. However, after menopause, women’s uric acids levels approach those of men. For the men, they develop gout at an early age, between 30 and 60 years, whereas women get gout after menopause.
Recent surgery or trauma – In some people, injections can trigger a gout flare. Recent surgery or trauma can sometimes activate a gout attack.
Certain medication – Some medications used to control hypertension can also increase the uric acid level, leading to gout.
2022 Update: A Natural Effective Solution to Stop Gout in 15 Mins?
A new treatment system has emerged that lowers uric acid levels by inducing key changes to your gut microbiota which in turn enables them to become much more effective at breaking down purines. This means no uric acid crystal formation.
Watch the following video about this incredible new cure: