Gout is a type of arthritis that is
characterized by sudden, stabbing, and
burning pain in a joint (usually the
big toe). Gout can affect anyone but
it is more common among men than women.
Women become increasingly susceptible
to gout after menopause. If gout is
left untreated, it can harm joints,
tendons, and other tissues.
Causes and Risk
a condition in which uric acid, a waste
product that occurs naturally within
the body, rises to an abnormal level.
Kidneys typically release uric acid
from the body in the form of urine.
However, gout causes excessive uric
acid to be deposited in the joints in
the form of crystals. As a result the
joints become inflamed and the area
becomes tender, red, swollen, and painful.
Gout usually affects the big toe but
it can also affect the ankles, knees,
feet, hands, wrists, and elbows.
a number of factors that can incite
the development of gout. Gout may be
hereditary, so individuals who have
a family history of gout are more likely
to develop this condition. Some medications
may prevent uric acid from leaving the
body and this can lead to a build up
of excessive uric acid in the joints.
Certain diseases such as untreated high
blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes,
arteriosclerosis, and high levels of
fat and cholesterol in the body can
also lead to gout.
Risk factors of gout are obesity, alcohol
intake, consuming foods such as organ
meat (liver, brains, kidneys, and sweetbreads)
or seafood in large quantities, excessive
consumption of coffee and alcohol, medications
such as diuretics or blood pressure
medicines, or events such as surgery,
heart attacks, or trauma. As mentioned
earlier, the occurrence of gout is more
common among adult men than in adult
women. Women generally have lower levels
of uric acid in their system than men,
which makes them comparatively less
susceptible to developing gout. However,
after menopause, the uric acid levels
of women increase and approach those