GOUT

GOUT

It’s a chronic disease due to an inherited abnormality of purine metabolism. Purines are present in many foods and are part of all human tissues. Uric acid is formed as result of breakdown of purines. Uric acid is normally excreted in urine. But excess of uric acid produced by body from protein we eat or other metabolic processes can increase the uric acid levels of blood. If it increases beyond desired level it produces gout.

Uric acid crystals are formed because of hyperuricemia. These crystals build up in the joint spaces, causing inflammation. These may also appear as lumps under the skin around joints and at the rim of the ear. They can collect in kidneys and cause kidney stones.

Causes

  1. Hereditary

  2. Being overweight increases the risk of developing hyperuricemia and gout because there is more tissue available for breakdown, which leads to excess uric acid production.

  3. Alcohol – it interferes with removal of uric acid from the body.

  4. Eating purine rich foods

  5. Exposure to lead in the environment.

Dietary management

Objectives:

  1. Early resolution of inflammation

  2. Prevention of recurrent attacks

  3. Reversal of complications arising from deposition of uric acid crystals.

Since diet is an important factor, exclusion of foods extremely high in purines may be helpful. All meats, fish, poultry contain moderate to high amounts of purine and pulses and lentils need to be avoided.

Intake of fluids should be encouraged to flush out the excess uric acid and to minimize the possibility of renal calculi formation.

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