What Causes Gout?
The human body is structured in a way that it can produce uric acid and breakdown chemicals known as purines. The uric acid that is being produced by the body is dissolved and flushed out through the urine. For those individuals who are suffering from gout problems, the reason behind this is there is too much uric acid in the body or there are problems flushing it out of the body. In case there is excessive amount of uric acid within the body, uric acid crystals are formed. These usually collect in between the joints, thus causing pain and inflammation.
What causes gout? Genetics can also be the cause of gout. This is because 18% of all gout patients do have a history of the condition in the family. If you are to analyze the risk of gout development, the condition is commonly seen in men than women and is more prevalent in adults than children are. Another known cause of gout development is obesity. If an individual is obese, more tissues become available and these are used for the breakdown and turnover, thus causing excessive production of uric acid. The other common factor that can cause gout is the consumption of alcohol.
In case what causes gout is excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, then this can be due to hyperuricemia. This is because the alcohol interferes with the flushing out of the uric acid from the body. Aside from that, there are certain foods that can also aggravate gout conditions in some people. Certain medications can also trigger the excessive production of uric acid in the body. If this is what is causing your gout problem, you have to make sure that you discuss this with your physician. Various health problems can also increase the risk of gout development like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney damage, lipid disorders and bone marrow disorders among others.
Aside from knowing what causes gout, you should also be aware of the nature of the condition. Pain due to gout is not constant. You may experience attacks for several hours and the pain will go away on its own. Most gout conditions affect the big toe. During a gout attack, you may experience having difficulty walking and you may find the weight of your own clothes very irritating. You should also know that it does not only affect the toe joint. Gout can affect any joint in the body and in some cases, more than one joints are affected. This usually cause swelling in the affected joint and the skin may appear reddish.
- Medication: if what causes gout is the consumption of certain medications, then you have to avoid consuming these medications to prevent the the condition by preventing the levels of your uric acid from increasing. Some of the medications that increase levels of uric acid include aspirin, diuretics, cyclosporine A, nicotinic acid and medications used for chemotherapy.
- Family History: heredity and genetics were said to be causes of gout as well. If a mother or a father suffers from gout, the children of these parents are at high risk of having the same condition. Take note that the family history accounts for 10% to 20% of all gout cases.
- Alcohol: this is considered as one of the major causes of gout. Excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to hyperuricemia, a condition where the uric acid level becomes elevated abnormally. Hyperuricemia is the affect of alcohol in the process of excretion and this obstructs the flushing out of uric acid from the body, thus resulting to gout conditions.
- Diseases and Disorders: as mentioned, there are certain health conditions that can cause the development of gout. For example, if you are suffering from kidney diseases, these may prevent the flushing out of uric acid from the body and these results to gout conditions.
- Diet: obesity is one of the major causes of gout. To prevent this, you have to maintain a diet that is low on purines and proteins. there are certain foods that you have to avoid as well, as these foods can trigger gout attack, such as mussels, herring, sweetbreads, mutton, yeast, veal, bacon, liver, salmon, kidneys, turkey, scallops and goose. One general rule that should be followed when suffering from gout is, foods containing high amount of fat or cholesterol are also high in purines, and therefore these foods should be avoided. Your diet should be low in fat and cholesterol and you should avoid consuming high protein foods to prevent worsening your condition. Fatty white meat, red meat, beef broth, chicken broth and caviar can also produce high amounts of uric acid and these foods should be avoided. There are certain vegetables and dairy products that are high in purines as well. These include cheese, butter and ice cream and all these should be excluded from your diet.
Aside from knowing what causes gout, you should also be aware of the symptoms of the condition. Some of the common symptoms of gout include severe joint pain particularly in the big toe, redness of the skin on the affected joint, discomfort and inflammation. In case you are at high risk of developing such condition, there are preventive measures that you can take. There are treatment methods available for gout problems as well like gout medications including corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. If you want to prevent the side effects of these medications, you may choose to make use of natural remedies instead.
Regular consumption of lemon juice can help bring the levels of uric acid down or in control. If any of the factors given above is what causes gout, then you have to avoid it. Consumption of alcohol should be avoided to manage the condition. If the gout problem is due to the medications that you are consuming, make sure to discuss this with your physician so that it can be replaced. You also have to follow a healthy gout diet to prevent the condition from worsening.