Gout Increasingly Common Among Americans
Friday, September 8, 2017
Gout is a type of arthritis with both acute and chronic features. The problem is caused by too much uric acid in your blood stream. An acute flare occurs when the excess uric acid forms into crystals which deposit in a joint like your wrist, knee, ankle or most commonly the big toe. The crystals are shaped like needles that are sharp on both ends. This causes severe pain and inflammation. Over time, the excess uric acid can cause chronic inflammation and joint destruction. Sometimes the acid crystals will deposit into the skin, usually around a joint, causing a lump of wet powder. The crystals can deposit in the kidneys causing stone or damaging the kidney tissue. Gout usually occurs in men, 35-45 years of age and later in women, after age 55. By 65 both are affected equally.
Throughout history gout was associated with wealth, because people with diets high in purines are at risk. Purines are found in preserved or cured foods like wine, whiskey, aged cheese and sausages; food poor people couldn’t afford in large quantities. Other causes of gout are obesity, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease. A common cause in modern society is certain medication, especially for high blood pressure. Today besides diet changes and weight loss, we do have medications to help lower uric acid levels. And we can treat acute attacks with anti-inflammatory medications.
Sterling Research is conducting a study to evaluate a new treatment for gout in patients with moderate kidney failure. To see if you qualify call 621-5112 to get more information. You too can be a medical hero by helping discover a new treatment option.