F R E Q U E N T L Y   A S K   Q U E S T I O N S

WHAT IS GOUT?
Gout is arthritis that attacks the small joints of the hands and feet, predominantly the big toe. Gout occurs because of the deposit of uric acid crystals in the joints, resulting in swelling, inflammation and severe debilitating pain.

WHAT CAUSES GOUT?
Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the body. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are found in all of your body’s tissues. They are also in many foods, such as liver, dried beans and peas, and anchovies.

Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood. It passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine. But uric acid can build up in
the blood when:
• The body increases the amount of uric acid it makes.
• The kidneys do not get rid of enough uric acid.
• A person eats too many foods high in purines.

For a guide of foods with purine content visit: www.acumedico.com/purine.htm

Gout is excessive uric acid build up in the body. Too much uric
acid can lead to:
• Sharp uric acid crystal deposits in joints, often in the big toe
• Deposits of uric acid (called tophi) that looks like lumps under the skin
• Kidney stones from uric acid crystals in the kidneys.

WHAT IS HYPERURICEMIA?
When uric acid levels in the blood are high, it is called Hyperuricemia.
Most people with hyperuricemia do not develop gout. But if excess uric acid
crystals form in the body, gout can develop.
• Age
• Male gender
• Family history of the condition
• Obesity
• Drinking too much alcohol (esp. beer)
• Eat too many foods rich in purines
• Are exposed to lead in the environment
• Have had an organ transplant
• Use of certain drugs, including diuretics, aspirin,
  cyclosporine, move up or levodopa
• Take the vitamin niacin
• Thyroid problems and other serious illness


SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
• Hyperuricemia
• Uric acid crystals in joint fluid
• More than one attack of acute arthritis
• Arthritis that develops in 1 day, producing a swollen, red and warm joint
• Attack of arthritis in only one joint, usually the toe, ankle, or knee.

 


     

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