|Posted by email@example.com on December 6, 2015 at 1:00 PM|
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Gout is an arthritic disease of your joints caused by too much uric acid in your body. Normally your liver processes various substances in your body including purines which are components of genetic material found both inside your cells and in some foods you eat.
When your liver breaks down purines, a waste product called uric acid is produced. Your body disposes of this waste through your kidneys which remove it from your blood. When your liver produces too much uric acid or your kidneys do not remove enough of it from your body, excess uric acid accumulates in your blood resulting in a condition hyperuricemia.
Caffeinated beverages affect the waste removal function of your kidneys by increasing your urine output which eliminates too much water from your body, a condition called dehydration. Dehydration can result in a higher concentration of uric acid in your body's fluids. When the concentration of uric acid becomes too high for any of these sources, it can no longer stay dissolved. The excess uric acid begins to form needle-like crystals inside your joints, most commonly in your big toe. Formation of uric acid crystals leads to an inflammatory response.
White blood cells from your immune system attack the uric acid crystals resulting in joint pain and inflammation. This is called an acute gout attack. If left untreated elevated uric acid levels may result in lumpy deposits of uric acid around your joint called the tophus causing additional joint pain and disfigurement.
Treatment for acute gout attacks includes:
Treatment for chronic gout includes drugs that promote uric acid excretion and drugs that inhibit uric acid production by your body.
Lifestyle changes to prevent recurrent or chronic gout include:
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