Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Gout

What is gout?

Causes of gout

Remedies for gout

References

What is gout?

Gout (podagra) is a form of acute inflammatory arthritis. It is characterised by sudden sharp, unexpected pains in joints, and swelling, redness, warmness and stiffness around the affected joint. Low-grade fever can also occur.

An elevated level of uric acid in the blood seems to be part of the mechanism of gout. The uric acid crystallises and is deposited in joints and tendons. These deposits provoke an inflammatory reaction in surrounding tissues.

The patient usually suffers from two sources of pain. The crystals in the joints cause intense pain when the affected area is moved. The inflammation of the tissues around the joint causes the skin to be swollen, tender and sore if it is even lightly touched. For example, a sheet or blanket covering the affected area can cause extreme pain.

Gout affects about 1% of the Western population at some point in their lives. It is most common in the toes of men (particularly the big toe), but affects other parts of the body, and occurs in both sexes. Gout was historically known as "the disease of kings" or "rich man's disease".

Causes of gout

Remedies for gout

References

1. Underwood M. Sugary drinks, fruit, and increased risk of gout. BMJ 2008 Feb 9, 336(7639):285-6.

2. Seegmiller JE et al. Fructose-induced aberration of metabolism in familial gout identified by 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Nov 1990, 87(21):8326-30.