Patients with too much uric acid or with some functional problems with removal of this substance from the body usually suffer from gout. Therefore, abnormal metabolism of uric acid is the main characteristic of this condition. Accumulation of uric acid may cause several medical problems beside the gouty arthritis, such as kidney stones or tophi, local deposits of uric acid in different tissues of the body.
Gout is very common disease, affecting over 5 millions of people only in the United States. This can be primary condition or problem associated with some other condition or the use of certain drugs (called secondary gout).
Gout Arthritis Symptoms
As mentioned, gout arthritis is very common condition and it usually provokes inflammation, swelling, redness and painful sensations in the joints in the body and especially in the foot. It is often found in men over 40 years of age. Uric acid accumulates in the joints and tissues surrounding the joints of these patients, provoking gout attacks. This may repeat over the years and could potentially damage the joint and lead to chronic arthritis. Although gout is progressive disease, doctors are able to treat this problem with certain medications.
What Causes Gout?
As mentioned, abnormal metabolism of uric acid is responsible for development of this condition. Uric acid is normal product of human metabolism, but in some cases there is either too much uric acid produced in the body or inability of the organism to eliminate uric acid from urine. That’s when people develop gout.
Key factors for development of gout include: gender, genetics and nutrition. Men are more likely to develop gout after puberty, while women usually experience gout attacks after the menopause. There are increased chances (about 20%) to develop this condition if your parents had it. British and American blacks are especially prone to this condition. People eating too much red meat, yeast, internal organs and some oily fish, as well as those drinking plenty of alcohol (beer in particular) are also found to be much more likely to develop gout.
Sudden change in the level of uric acid in the body may provoke gout attack. This can happen to people who ate too much red meat, drank too much alcohol or experienced starvation and dehydration. Some traumas, chemotherapy and the use of intravenous (IV) contrast dyes could also lead to gout attacks. Medications like Aspirin, nicotinic acid, diuretics, hypertensive drugs, allopurinol, probenecid and Cyclosporine A are also associated with increased risk of gout attack.