Gout occurs when urate crystals build up in the joint, causing the inflammation and severe pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when there are high levels of uric acid in the blood. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, substances found naturally in the body. Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia, in which there is too much uric acid in the body.
Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in the body and in the food you eat. When there is too much uric acid in the body, uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) can build up in joints, fluids, and body tissues. Hyperuricemia doesn't always cause gout, and hyperuricemia without symptoms of gout doesn't need treatment. You could be one of 8.3 million Americans with gout, a type of arthritis that can cause inflammation and severe pain.
Gout is characterized by painful outbreaks, which often occur at night, which can last a couple of weeks, with the worst pain usually occurring within the first 24 hours. Other symptoms of gout include red, hot skin around the affected joint. When it comes to preventing gout, recognizing symptoms, doing everything possible to avoid triggers, and receiving timely treatment are important first steps to take. People with high blood pressure (hypertension) have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of developing gout.
According to the American Heart Association, uncontrolled high blood pressure can weaken, narrow and harden the arteries that carry blood throughout the body, including the arteries found in the kidneys. This makes it difficult for the kidneys to do their job by excreting waste, such as uric acid, from the body. In addition, diuretics (medicines used to increase urination) that are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure can contribute to the problem by decreasing the amount of urate (a compound in uric acid) that is excreted in the urine. If you have gout pain, see your healthcare provider.
Gout occurs in people who have high levels of uric acid, also known as urate, in their blood. Urate is created every day when our bodies break down purines. Purines are chemicals that are naturally created in our bodies, but they are also present in certain foods. Gout outbreaks are caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, which can occur for several reasons.
If that alone doesn't help prevent gout attacks, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower blood levels of uric acid and help prevent gout attacks. This medication may increase the frequency of gout attacks during the first 6 to 12 months of use, but after that period, it is an effective drug in preventing gout attacks. Some patients with gout may also discover that certain foods that are low in purines actually cause a gout outbreak. Most of the damage and complications caused by gout can be stopped if you take medications to lower urate levels and have a healthy diet and lifestyle.
While it's possible to have an isolated gout attack, “normally, once gout appears, you'll need long-term therapy to control it,” says Dr. While taking medications to combat pain and inflammation during a gout outbreak, there are a few other simple home remedies for gout that you can use to relieve gout discomfort.