Gout: A silly-sounding name, but when it comes to the pain it causes, it is no laughing matter. It can be extremely painful when there are flair-ups and the best way to describe it would be a fiery pain. Flair-ups can hurt bad enough to wake you up in the night.
What Exactly is Gout?
It is the buildup of uric acid crystals (the breakdown of purines in many of the foods we eat) in the joints. It can cause arthritis, kidney stones and block kidney filtering tubules which can lead to kidney failure.
How Do I Know if I Have Gout?
- Your big toe may start to feel tender
- Arm feeling
- In some cases, it can lead to pain elsewhere in your body (i.e., ankles, wrists, knees, elbows and even fingers)
Who Is Affected By Gout?
Gout can affect all ages and demographics. However, there are certain people who are more likely to develop gout than others. Your chances of developing gout increase by 20% if your parents have it and women are more likely to get it after menopause.
You have an increased chance of Gout with any of the following conditions:
- Recent excessive weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal kidney function
The following medications can also lead to a higher risk of Gout:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Chemotherapy drugs
The following foods can also lead to a higher risk of Gout:
- Fish like salmon, trout, scallops, shellfish, sardines, anchovies and mussels
- Organ meat like pork, turkey, bacon, duck, venison and veal
- Vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, green peas, kidney beans, lima beans, lentils, mushrooms and spinach
- Sugary beverages
Last, Gout can also be brought on by any of the following factors:
- Sudden illness
Keep in mind, the previously listed causes only have an effect on someone with Gout and this is for their flare-ups. You will not necessarily contract Gout if you continue to eat or use the medications listed.