What Is Gout?
However, these crystals, unlike many other minerals found in nature, are worthless. They're truly garbage. They cause a condition called gout. This is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis caused by urate crystal deposition in the joints. You may have heard of gout and the many risk factors involved in its development. Risk factors include alcohol consumption, being overweight, kidney disease, being a man, and having a family history of this disease. Therefore, genetic defects may play a role in causing things to go haywire during the development of gout.
Without warning and, for some reason, in the middle of the night, gout strikes -- an intense pain in a joint, most often the big toe, but sometimes other joints, including knees, ankles, elbows, thumbs, or fingers.
Attacks of Gout can be unexpected and excruciatingly painful. With prompt treatment, the pain and inflammation usually disappear after a few days, but they may recur at any time. It is more likely to be in males more than females.
Gout is actually a form of arthritis. It is the body's reaction to irritating crystal deposits in the joints. The pain can be intense, but treatment usually works very well. Mild cases may be controlled by diet alone. Recurring attacks of gout may require long-term medication to prevent damage to bone and cartilage and deterioration of the kidneys.
Why Does Gout Occur?
While many risk factors abound, the pathway of gout formation is as follows:
In nature, there exist compounds called purines. You've probably heard of two famous purines called adenine and guanine, the molecules that help to make up things like DNA and the energy currency of your body, called ATP. Naturally, humans break down purine through a series of steps. The second-to-last step involves something known as xanthine, a purine base.
Xanthine oxidase is a type of enzyme that converts xanthine into uric acid, while uric acid is the end product of purine metabolism in humans. Uric acid, the end product of this pathway, serves no use in the human body and is basically just garbage. Normally, your body makes sure uric acid is kept at a safe level by either excreting it in urine or by recycling purines using a salvage pathway to avoid forming uric acid in the first place. When a defect in this salvage pathway or in the excretion of uric acid occurs, uric acid crystals, also known as urate crystals, begin to form instead and deposit themselves in places like your joints.
So you can liken what happens to real life. When garbage piles up in a city, the city garbage collection team picks it up and tosses it out into the local dump. Or the garbage is sent to be salvaged and recycled for reuse. Your body does this as well. But if the recycling or garbage collection facilities shut down, then the garbage will accumulate in the city streets, predisposing people to disease.
But it gets worse. Since those uric acid crystals aren't supposed to be in the joints, the body interprets them as a foreign invader and launches an inflammatory response to try and kill them. But they can't be killed because they're not alive to begin with!
So, as white blood cells, called neutrophils, move in to eat the crystals in order to try and destroy them, the sharp crystals poke holes in the cell's stomach-like structure, called a lysosome, killing the neutrophils and releasing the digestive enzymes of their stomachs into the surrounding area. Those digestive enzymes then begin to break down the joint as more inflammatory cells are recruited that also end up dying, causing a vicious cycle to continue.
web md says: A gout attack strikes when your body's immune system is triggered, often at night. White blood cells engulf the crystals, causing inflammation, pain, and redness. Gout attacks usually happen in a single joint, like your big toe, or your knee. Within hours, the pain and swelling can become intense.
Some can raise the level of uric acid in your body, and that’s what causes gout. If you can limit them, you could head off another flare.
Red meat and seafood. Meat (especially organ meats like liver and sweetbreads) and seafood (like fish and shellfish) can be high in chemicals called purines. When your body breaks them down, your level of uric acid goes up.
Instead, go forprotein from low-fat dairy products, like skim milk, cheese, and yogurt. You can also eat more beans, soy, and other plant-based forms of protein.
Sweetened drinks. Sodas and juices flavored with fruit sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup, can trigger gout flares.
- Organ and glandular meats. ...
- Red meat. ...
- Seafood. ...
- High-purine vegetables. ...
- Alcohol. ...
- Sugary foods and beverages. ...
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C may help lower uric acid levels. ...
- Kwang Wellness has the Vitamin C Terry speaks of in his video above: