What is Gout?
Gout is a metabolic disorder. An increased concentration of uric acid in the blood leads to the depositing of uric acid crystals in the body.
Hyperuricemia (= increased concentration of uric acid in the blood) is when concentration of uric acid in the blood rises above 6.5 to 7 mg per 100 ccm of blood. If the concentration of uric acid is this high, uric acid crystallises and is deposited particularly in the joints. This depositing causes an inflammation in this area = gout. The disposition of developing this metabolic illness is hereditary. Gout usually appears as a result of bad nutrition. Gout is therefore a disease of affluence.
Commonness of Gout
About 95% of those affected are male, especially those who are overweight, have lipometabolism disorders, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. About 3% of German men will get gout at some stage in their lives.
Symptoms of Gout
Hyperuricemia usually occurs over a long period of time without showing any symptoms until a gout attack suddenly occurs. In the beginning it is usually only one joint that is affected (often the metatarsophalangeal joint). The joint is extremely swollen, reddened and extremely painful. General signs of inflammation such as fever also emerge. If the gout remains untreated over a longer period of time, crystals of uric acid are deposited in other organs leading to consequential damages; chronic gout. Gout nodules can also form. These are uric acid deposits outside of the joints in the tissue (particularly in kidneys). Kidney stones can also develop.
Treatment of Gout
- Anti-inflammatory medication and pain killers for acute gout
- Reducing the uric acid concentration in the blood by going on a diet and taking medication. It is usually necessary to do the diet and take the medication for life.
- Losing excess weight
Nutrition and Gout
- Avoiding purine-rich foods. The body forms uric acid from purine in foods. Purine is particularly found in meat, fish, legumes and giblets.
- Little alcohol: alcohol prevents the ability of the kidneys to excrete uric acid.
- Sufficient intake of fluids in order to help the excretion of uric acid.
Beating Gout: A Sufferer's Guide to Living Pain Free, Victor Konshin
Getting Rid of Gout,