Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gout Facts - What Causes Gout?

When the body has an overload of uric acid, it results to gout. This disease results from the formation of tiny urate crystals depositing in bodily tissues, especially along the joints. When these crystals form, it causes recurring arthritis attacks. When deposits of hard lumps of uric acid reach inside and outside the joints, causing joint destruction, kidney stones and decreased kidney function, the condition is then referred to as chronic gout.

Throughout medical history, gout has this unique distinction of being one of the most commonly recorded medical illnesses. It is known to be related to inherited abnormalities in the ability of the body to process uric acid. What is the importance of this uric acid to our body? It is the breakdown product of the purines in most of the foods we eat. Without it or if there is an abnormality in handling it, it can lead to painful arthritis attacks, kidney stones and to the blockage of kidney filtering tubules having uric acid crystals. The end result, life-threatening kidney failure. However, there are still people who can develop hyperuricemia or elevated blood uric acid levels without experiencing kidney problems or arthritis.

What Causes Gout?

Gout illness is caused by uric acid build up. This is due to high levels of uric acid wherein risk factors that increase these levels vary on certain risk factors. This includes the following factors:

Alcohol - Alcohol, especially wine and beer can increase the body's uric acid levels. In this case, high alcohol intake becomes a high risk factor which can precede a gout attack.

Purine Rich Foods - Purine-rcih foods can also increase the body's blood uric acid levels. This means, we need to avoid high intake of foods like red meat, shellfish and offal foods in order to avoid gout.

Obesity - This is one of the contributory factors that can increase the likelihood of gout attacks.

Genetics - Gout is hereditary. It can be passed down from generation to generation. This means, gout is not only due to excessive drinking and eating.

Medications - There are certain medications that are known to increase uric acid levels. This includes aspirin, diuretics and chemotherapy treatment.

High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure is also being linked to high uric acid levels and this, in turn, can be linked to serious conditions like heart disease.

There is an estimated 5 million Americans who suffer from gout. It is more common in men as compared to women (approximately 9x more common). It can attack males following puberty while its peak is at the age of 75. For women, it attacks after menopause.By :Eloisa Robert
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