Today was my Clinical Medicine exam and one of the topics covered on the exam was gout. My grandfather has gout, and is an active blog reader of mine, so today's post is all about the science of his condition.
- Gout is the deposition of uric acid crystals into joints.
- Uric acid deposits into distal joints (those joints farthest away from the body's core) due to a difference in temperature (presumably it is cooler there).
- Uric acid results from the break-down (aka metabolism) of purines.
- Purines are what make up nucleic acids (the building blocks of DNA).
- Podegra is the term used describe gout in the big toe (the joint most commonly affected).
- Uric acid irritates the tissues in the joint, causing pain and swelling.
- Uric acids builds-up either because the kidney has a hard time excreting it or because too much is made.
- People with gout should limit foods high in purines, such as alcohol, dairy, and meat.
- Naturopathically, concentrated cherry juice is recommended.