Common Joint Disease – Gout

Human body has got most unique system of functioning and maintenance, perhaps it is the only machine in the world which is most delicately associated with the type of fuel i.e., ‘food’. Gout is one of the numerous diseases, linked very closely with the food we are eating.
Gout is a disease where there is pain in many joints of the body. This happens because of deposit of solid crystals of uric acid which are usually present in the blood. When the concentration of the uric acid increases above the range (6-7 mg/dl of blood) they solidify and deposit in the joints muscle ends, called uric acid crystals creating acute pain. This uric acid usually increases because of intake of food which forms uric acid in the body (called purine).

The Purines

Purines are the natural substances found in all the body’s cells, and in virtually all foods. Purines are very useful in our body as they provide part of the chemical structure of our genes (DNA).
There are 2 conditions in which purines could increase in the body:

1.) Excessive intake of high or moderately high purine diet.
Impaired function of the enzyme Xanthine Oxidase which helps in disposing off extra purine from the body via kidney.

The Uric Acid

It is an acidic chemical formed in the body when food containing purines are completely digested. It is very normal and healthy to form uric acid for the body; in fact it works as antioxidant and prevents the damage of blood vessel lining. But as it is said nothing is good in excess, similarly extra uric acid also gets deposited in crystal form to give rise to gout.
There could be an increase in uric acid because of following reasons:

1.) Obesity
2.) High Blood Pressure
3.) Increased Triglycerides
4.) Alcohol Consumption

The upper limit is about 7 mg/dl in men and 6 mg/dl in women. A value above this can increase the risk of uric acid stone or gout exceedingly.

Signs of Gout

1.) Acute pain in joint or multiple joints
Inflammation of joint or multiple joints
3.) Swelling of joint or multiple joints
4.) Fever