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Saturday, 31 May 2014
GOUT - CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
Gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis and can be
extremely painful. It is a disorder of the metabolism of uric acid caused by
the presence of uric acid crystals in the synovial fluid of the joint,
particularly in the big toe.
Uric acid is a waste product circulating in the blood and
results in the breakdown of substances called purines. When uric acid builds up
usually from insufficient elimination of urine, needle-like crystals can form
in a joint at the base of the toe.
The joint may become inflamed and swollen, hot to the touch
and excruciatingly painful. Even the slightest touch causes unbearable stabbing
Primary risk factors are age, gender and genetics. Gout
mainly affects men, especially those between the ages of 40 and 50.Men are three or four times more likely to
get the disease than women who rarely develop it before menopause.
Obesity and diet: Dietary management no longer seems
to be focused on restriction of foods with high purine content but on treatment
of the metabolic disorders associated with gout including obesity, insulin
resistance syndrome or abnormal blood levels of lipids.
Drink: Excess alcohol consumption can
inhibit the excretion of uric acid, causing a build-up.
Medical conditions: According to the Mayo clinic, gout
may be triggered by certain medical conditions including untreated high blood
pressure (hypertension), diabetes and high levels of fat and cholesterol in the
blood and narrowing of the arteries.
Medications: Products that increase the risk of
gout include thiazide diuretics, low dose aspirin and antirejection drugs given
to transplant patients.
Because gout attacks are linked to lifestyle,
the following suggestions are made:
1. Sufferers maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight
puts stress on joints. 2. Beware
of crash diets that may temporarily elevate uric acid levels. 3. Avoid
excessive animal protein. Eat lean meat of fish and poultry. 4. Drink
alcoholic beverages in moderation. 5. Drink
plenty of non-alcoholic liquids.