Gout occurs when crystals of uric acid invade the joints. The major cause of gout is hyperuricaemia, high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a normal component of your body but becomes toxic when serum levels rise above six milligrams per 100 milliliters. By seven milligrams per 100 milliliters, sharp crystals are forming in your joints. They cause excruciating pain, especially to joints rich in nerves, such as the big toe.
Remember the famous Victorian caricature of gout and over-indulgence? –a wealthy man with an alcoholic face, his heavily bandaged foot set up on a cushion. Though the comic portrayal has all but disappeared, the disease of gout continues to plague Western Society. It is even on the increase. Overall, about 20% of the US population has hyperuricaemia, and are at risk of uric acid crystals invading their joints.
We know that these crystals commonly occur simultaneously with other forms of arthritis. Increasing number of studies urge rheumatologists to test for joint infiltration, as an additional disease entity involved in both rheumatoid and osteo forms of arthritis. I suspect that the same gouty complications will also be found when researchers look for them in arthritic forms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Like the over-indulgent Victorian gentleman pictured above, most folk who get urate crystals in their joints do it all to themselves. The majority of cases of hyperuricaemia occur from two causes: ingestion of edibles that increase bodily production of uric acid, and ingestion of edibles that reduce the body’s ability to excrete uric acid in urine via the kidneys.
Whereas women get arthritis more often than men, especially after age 45 –only in the case of gout is there gender parity on the arthritis front. Men are the victims of the various forms of gout ninety-five percent of the time.
Many a man knows the agonizing pain of a gout attack, yet gout is primarily a self-inflicted disease. The enemy is us. We bring it upon ourselves as a natural consequence of an unbalanced diet. Gout occurs when crystals of uric acid invade the joints, causing excruciating pain, especially in joints rich in nerves such as a big toe. The major cause of gout is hyperuricemia –high levels of uric acid in the blood.
Uric acid is a normal component of your body but becomes toxic when serum levels rise above 6.0mg/100ml. If these levels reach 7.0mg/100ml, sharp crystals are forming in your joints and its only a matter of time before you feel it –BIG TIME!
The majority of cases of hyperuricemia occur from two causes: ingestion of edibles that increase bodily production of uric acid, and ingestion of edibles that reduce the body’s ability to excrete uric acid in urine by the kidneys. Gout is simply a matter of producing too much uric acid at the same time that you’re not getting rid of it fast enough.
A final common cause of deposition of crystals in the joints is prescription drugs. The worst offenders are diuretics which inhibit excretion of uric acid through the kidneys. If you have arthritis and your uric acid level is above 5.5mg/100ml, and you are using prescribed diuretics for another problem, such as water retention or hypertension, take these medical references to your physician. Alternative medication could save you a lot of suffering.
In my book Win The War Against Arthritis (available here for all Club Members), I list the 12 foods you must avoid and what you must do to stay gout-free.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Renowned scientist, lecturer and best-selling author, Dr. Michael Colgan’s professional memberships include the American College of Sports Medicine, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the British Society of Nutritional Medicine. He is also on the Council of International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists.
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