Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. ...Hippocrates
What Is Gout?
Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. It occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the body. The buildup of uric acid can lead to:
For many people, the first attack of gout occurs in the big toe. Often, the attack wakes a person from sleep. The toe is very sore, red, warm, and swollen.
Gout can cause:
In addition to the big toe, gout can affect the:
A gout attack can be brought on by stressful events, alcohol or drugs, or another illness. Early attacks usually get better within 3 to 10 days, even without treatment. The next attack may not occur for months or even years.
What Causes Gout?
Gout is caused by the buildup of too much uric acid in the body. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are found in all of your body's tissues. They are also in many foods, such as liver, dried beans and peas, and anchovies.
Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood. It passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine. But uric acid can build up in the blood when:
When uric acid levels in the blood are high, it is called hyperuricemia. Most people with hyperuricemia do not develop gout. But if excess uric acid crystals form in the body, gout can develop.
You are more likely to have gout if you:
How Is Gout Diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and family history of gout. Signs and symptoms of gout include:
To confirm a diagnosis of gout, your doctor may draw a sample of fluid from an inflamed joint to look for crystals associated with gout.
How Is Gout Treated?
Doctors use medicines to treat an acute attack of gout, including:
Sometimes doctors prescribe NSAIDs or colchicine in small daily doses to prevent future attacks. There are also medicines that lower the level of uric acid in the blood.
What Can People With Gout Do to Stay Healthy?
Some things that you can do to stay healthy are:
More on gout and diet:
Gout causes, diagnosis, symptoms, and cure
Food high/low in uric acid
Gout Causes: Food High in Purines and Uric Acid, and Alcohol
Gout and diet: Serum uric acid level and coffee and tea intake
Low purine diet cookbooks and gout related books
Blood uric acid, cardiovacular disease and diabetes:
Uric acid, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus
uric acid, background
Serum uric acid, hypertension and metabolic syndrome
Serum uric acid, obesity and hyperglycemia
Serum uric acid and antioxidant or pro-oxidant activity
Serum uric acid, inflammation and renal disease
Hyperuricemia and nutritional approach