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What is Gout?

Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. Gout is caused when the body produces an excess of uric acid, and the sharp uric acid crystals collect in the spaces in the joints. This causes stiffness, swelling and often very intense pain.

Usually the first attack of gout occurs in the big toe, this may wake you up from sleep. The toe becomes very sore, red, hot and swollen. In addition to the toe, gout can also affect; insteps, ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, elbows.

Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are found in all of your body’s tissues. When uric acid levels in the blood are high, it is called hyperuricemia.

The main source of purines is:
– organ meats (kidneys, liver, brains)
– meats including bacon, beef, pork and lamb
– any other meat in large quantity
– anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel and scallops
– gravy

Foods that are low in purines and are safe to eat are as follow:
– green vegetables
– fruits
– breads and cereals that are not white-grain
– butter, buttermilk, cheese and eggs
– coffee, tea and carbonated drinks
– peanut butter and other nuts
– low-fat milk and yogurt

So, one of the easiest way and the most natural way of eliminating the symptoms of gout is to reduce the levels of purine going into the body.

There is a natural production of purines in the body, so there will always be some purine which will be broken into uric acid. You can manage the level of purine by diet selection to a point that the kidneys can restore a balance.

How is it diagnosed?

We may ask about your symptoms, blood report and family history. Signs of gout may include the following:
– hyperuricemia (high level of uric acid in the blood)
– uric acid crystals in joint fluid
– arthritis that may develop overnight and produce swollen, red and warm joint
– attack of arthritis in only one joint usually the toe, ankle or knee

We may may also prescribe you anti-inflammatory drugs to address gout.

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