Gout is an acute inflammation of joints caused by high deposits of uric acid crystals (hyperuricemia). This condition is related to the over-secretion of uric acid or a renal defect resulting in decreased excretion of uric acid, or a combination of both. Studies showed that the incidence of gout increases with age and body mass index.
The most common cause of this condition is the over consumption of high purine containing products such as sardines, alcohol red meat and organ meats and other high protein food. The disorder occurs more commonly in males than in females.
Even if effective medications are now available over the counter, lifestyle modification is the best remedy for most gout and hyperuricemia patients.
The goal of treatment for this condition is to reduce symptoms and slow down disease progression that may lead to more complications. Proper nutrition and supplementation coupled with lifestyle modification usually helps in the improvement of the condition or slowdown of progression.
- Painful gouty arthritis is caused by uric acid crystal deposits in joint tissue. This happens when uric acid levels in the body are abnormally high.
- The underlying cause of primary gout is not clearly understood but in many patients the disease results from decreased renal excretion of uric acid. In a few patients gout is linked to a genetic defect in purine metabolism that causes an overproduction of uric acid.1
- Gout and hyperuricemia can be promoted by obesity, acute weight gain, alcohol intake, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, and certain drugs.
Primary gout typically occurs in men over thirty and postmenopausal women who take diuretics. Secondary gout develops during the course of another illness (i.e. obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, renal disease and others) or following treatment with drugs (i.e. hydrochlorothianzide).
The tendency to develop gout and elevated blood uric acid level (hyperuricemia) is often inherited.
Prevention and Management
- Gouty arthritis attacks can be precipitated by dehydration, injury, fever, heavy eating, heavy drinking of alcohol, and recent surgery. Because obesity may be a factor in secondary gout, weight loss is often suggested.
- Almost all people with gout have too much uric acid in their blood, a condition called hyperuricemia. However, there are many people who have hyperuricemia but not gout.
- It is important to drink plenty of fluids.
- Adjunct therapy attempts to reduce the consumption of alcohol and purine-rich foods such as anchovies, liver, sardines, kidneys, sweet-breads, lentils and other beans.
- An experimental study suggested that vitamin C lowers uric acid levels in serum by increasing renal excretion.2
- Zinc levels may be depressed during disease activity.3
How USANA Products may help individuals with Gout
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