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Gout is a common rheumatic inflammatory disease that is cause by either the excess production of uric acid in the body, or by the under excretion of acid as a waste product in urine. Both causes of gout stem from a metabolic disorder called hyperuricemia. Overtime hyperuricemia allows monosodium urate crystals to deposit themselves into tissues, eventually causing an acute gout flare up.
In ancient times, gout was once referred to as "the disease of kings" or "rich man's disease." Contrary to popular belief back then, Gout does not care about wealth and is not limited to certain members of society. Many sufferers are predisposed to having this condition, as it is genetically passed down from parent to child. However, there are several environmental factors that are instigators of gout flare-ups. Being over-weight or obese is a major contribution to having gout flare-ups. Notably, the number of those affected by gout has been steadily climbing, as has the obesity rate. While there is no scientific proof that the increased rates of either condition affects the rate of the other, it is interesting to see these two factors at play.
Some other environmental factors include diets high in red meat, fish, yeast, and internal organs. An above average intake of alcoholic beverages - especially beer - can trigger a flare-up, as well as excess sugars. Common medications and exposure to lead can also cause gout. Not to mention, Men are more likely to be affected by gout and at an earlier age than women. For men, gout can start becoming a problem as early as the puberty stage while women's risks increase post-menopause. Gout has also been linked to an increase in kidney stones amongst patients (this linkage is gender neutral).
If you are concerned about gout and want to take steps to prevent this painful affliction, speak with your doctor to get some tips on easy changes that you can do in your every day life to decrease your risk. While prevention doesn't necessarily mean you will never have gout, especially if you are predisposed to it (thanks to your genealogy), it can help to ward off symptoms and flare-ups during a time in your life when you want to be busy and active.