Increased Uric Acid and Gout
Anyone who has ever experienced a gout attack will not forget it soon. A sudden, violent pain at the big toe rips the affected person from his or her sleep. The cause of this pain is uric acid crystals, which prefer to be deposited on the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe and to cause inflammation there.
Uric acid is a byproduct of protein metabolism. Purines, or protein building blocks, which we eat mainly with animal food, are converted into uric acid. Age, sex and diet, but also hereditary factors and certain rare metabolic disorders, influence the uric acid level in human blood.
How does gout develop?
Every day, uric acid is produced in our body by the metabolism of the ingested food, two thirds of which is excreted by the kidneys and one third by the intestines. However, if the amount of uric acid produced exceeds the body's breakdown capacity, it crystallizes and is deposited primarily in the area of the synovial membranes. There it causes inflammation.
If you suffer from gout or have been diagnosed with elevated uric acid levels (women over 5.7 mg/dl and men over 6.5 mg/dl), pay attention to the purine content of the food. In severe cases it may be useful to take medication that interferes with the purine metabolic process.