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Find Good Reading » Blog Archive » Gout vs Gender

Gout vs Gender

Gout is an acute form of arthritis that results in sudden and chronic attacks of severe pain and inflammation in the joints; primarily the big toe, feet and legs. Although anyone can develop this condition, gout is more common among men than women. In fact, compared to women, men are four times more likely to develop gout. It is estimated that of the one million Americans who have gout, more than 80% are men.

Why are men so much more susceptible to gout than women? Gout is linked to hyperuricemia (abnormally high uric acid levels). Men have a substantially higher amount of uric acid in their system than women. During puberty, uric acid production increases in males and continues to climb. Therefore, by the time men reach their 40’s, their uric acid levels have been high for a prolonged period of time and can result in gout.

Women, on the other hand, tend to only become more susceptible to gout after they experience menopause, and are more likely to develop the arthritic condition in their 60’s. This is because after menopause, uric acid levels in women reach the levels of men, due to the fact that their estrogen levels have dropped. Estrogen helps to keep uric acid production under control.

What is uric acid? It is a waste product your body forms after it has broken down purines, which are natural substances, found in every cell within our body and are in virtually all the foods we eat. Purines are essential to the body because they provide the chemical structure that creates genes. In addition, uric acid functions as an antioxidant in the body, as it protects blood vessels and prevents their linings from becoming damaged. Therefore, a certain amount of purines and uric acid are essential to maintain the health and wellbeing of our bodies.

However, if uric acid levels become too high within the blood or in other parts of the body, it can build up and accumulate and form uric acid crystals. These crystals can be deposited into the joints, and organs.

What causes high uric acid levels? There are different causes for high uric acid levels including:

• Overproduction of uric acid – The kidneys are in charge of filtering uric acid and releasing it through urine. However, if the body is producing too much uric acid the kidneys cannot expel enough of it. On the other hand, uric acid build up can also result if the kidneys are diseased and don’t function properly; if the person has an inherited enzyme abnormality; or blood cancer.
• Over consuming foods high in protein – Foods high in protein are also high in purines and include organ meats (IE kidney, liver etc.) fish (IE sardines, mackerel, herring, muscles and anchovies), and food containing yeast.
• Medication – Certain medications, especially diuretics, have been known to cause high levels of uric acid.

Obesity, eating lots of salty foods and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can also contribute to high uric acid levels. Therefore, as you can see, due to the fact that men already have high levels of uric acid in their system, it doesn’t take much for a build up of uric acid to develop over time and progress into gout.

If you are looking for more help for Gout symptoms please visit CureGoutNow.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

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