How do you Get Gout?
Before we can answer the query “how do you get gout?” we need to explain what gout is. Gout is a specific form of arthritis that is characterized by extreme pain, stiffness, redness and heat in the region and usually accompanied by swelling in the affected area. Without treatment, these episodes are repeated and can cause lasting damage to joints, tendons and surrounding tissues. Gout is more prevalent in men, but a general rule is that it can effect women after menopause.
So how do you get gout? In order to get gout, uric acid levels in the blood must be excessive. Bear in mind, however, that not all people with excessive uric acid levels will develop gout. Gout only occurs when the uric acid deposits crystals in the joints, typically in the big toe, or knees. You will be more susceptible to developing gout if you are overweight, consume excessive amounts of alcohol or have a diet that includes meat and fish that are rich in purines. Purines will be explained later. Some medications, such as those designed to reduce water retention can also result in a gout condition. That's how you get gout.
How do we get gout? We get gout because of excessive purines in the body. Purines naturally occur in human body cells and in the cells of plants and animals. This means that purines are present in practically everything we eat. Why are purines so common? To put it simply, purines are part of our genetic makeup, providing part of the structure required to keep cells together. Some of what we eat may contain high levels of purines. These are also typically high in protein and include kidney, liver, and oily fish such as herring and mackerel. Yeast is also known to be high in purines. These purines are released when cells die and when completely absorbed, these purines become uric acid. This is a naturally occurring process and everyone produces uric acid in the body. In fact, uric acid performs an important function, cleansing and protecting blood vessel linings from damage. It is only when the breakdown of cells becomes accelerated that problems with overproduction of uric acid occurs. This can be caused by a number of other issues such as the failure of the kidneys to regulate uric acid levels. When levels become too high, crystals are deposited in areas of the body such as the joints or organs. This deposit of crystals in a region is known as gouty arthritis or simply gout.
Foods to avoid - How do you get Gout?
It is not enough to know “How do you get gout?” it is also necessary to understand which foods may be causing the problem. It should be noted at this point that there is no cure for gout and the approach is to treat the symptoms only or to recommend a diet that is low in purines.
It has been estimated that the average daily purine intake for US adults ranges from 600 to 1000mg. However, researches seem to agree that not all purines are created equal, with purines from plants considered no additional risk. Purines from meat and fish are a different matter and daily intakes should be reduced until painful symptoms dissipate. Dairy products can reduce risk of gout although purines may also be present in these products Research has been performed involving thousands of individuals and everything seems to point to the same conclusion. Plant purines are far safer than meat or fish purines where gout risk is concerned.
Of course, knowing the answer to “How do you get gout?” is of little benefit to those afflicted with the condition. They are more concerned with treatment options and these can include a strict low-purine diet with less than 150mg of purines daily (bear in mind that a mere 3oz portion of meat could contain over a thousand milligrams) or treatment with steroids or colchicine – a remedy derived from the dried seeds of meadow saffron. Foods that are extremely rich in purines include anchovies, mackerel, liver, kidney, minced meat, mussels, sardines and yeast. If a dietary solution is recommended for gout then it is very unlikely that any of the previously mentioned foods will be part of your future diet.
Dietary requirements need to be monitored strictly and the recommended diet should not pose any undue hardship. Gout suffers tend to react quite quickly to certain food and this can vary from person to person. Some may have a reaction to fried food within an hour and others may suffer no ill effects. Each individual will soon come to recognize their triggers and avoid them in order to prevent painful gout symptoms. How do you get gout? There is no simple answer as each case can depend on a number of physical factors but we do know that there is no sweeping remedy available for the many gout patients in the US and worldwide.
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