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What about Gout? It is an extremely painful joint condition wherein immediate attacks of redness, swelling, and tenderness are felt in the joint areas, often occurring on the big toe. The affected area feels swollen, tender, hot, and very sensitive even to the lightest touch. 

The pain and inflammation are caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the affected joint due to high levels of uric acid in the blood. How does it happen? Purine is a type of chemical compound that is naturally in the body, which is also present in the foods we eat. The body produces uric acid to break down those purines. In short, the more purines, the more uric acid the body creates. 

However, when the body produces too much uric acid that it doesn’t dissolve in the blood and passes through the kidneys, uric acid will start to build up forming urate crystals in the affected joint. 

Gout is more common to men and is more likely to occur at an earlier age because biologically, women have lower uric acid levels. It is during after menopause that women’s uric acid levels go up and catch up to the men’s. Since purines are found on foods and beverages, diet should be monitored as well. High levels of purines are found in organ meats, steak, beer and other alcoholic drinks, and beverages sweetened with fructose. Having a family history of gout will increase the chances of having the condition as well. Meanwhile, obesity may hold back the body from crushing uric acid in the system. 

  • Affected areas are swollen and tinged with red
  • Range of motion of joint is limited 
  • Severe joint pains 
  • Discomfort in the affected joints

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