It

Health & Nutrition - - CLINIC -

is said to be one of the most painful forms of arthri­tis. Gout oc­curs when uric acid crys­tals ac­cu­mu­late in the joints, caus­ing pain, swelling and in­flam­ma­tion. Dur­ing a gout flare, even a gen­tle touch of the skin above the af­fected joint can be ag­o­niz­ing, and walk­ing on a toe or an­kle stricken by gout can be un­bear­able.

TRAN­SCEND­ING THE JOINTS

Gout re­sults from hy­pe­r­uricemia, the buildup of uric acid (urate) in the blood, although not ev­ery­one with hy­pe­r­uricemia ex­pe­ri­ences gout. Uric acid forms when your body me­tab­o­lizes sub­stances called purines, found in a va­ri­ety of foods. In healthy adults, the kid­neys fil­ter uric acid and ex­crete it in urine; how­ever, if your body pro­duces too much uric acid or the kid­neys can­not fil­ter it ad­e­quately, it may so­lid­ify and form sharp crys­tals that ac­cu­mu­late in the joints and other tis­sues. The re­sult is the hall­mark pain, swelling, and in­flam­ma­tion of gout. Early on, gout is episodic, with flares last­ing days to weeks. Gout typ­i­cally af­fects the big toe first, but it also may de­velop in the an­kles, knees, fin­gers, wrists, el­bows, shoul­ders, and spine. If uric acid lev­els re­main high, large, vis­i­ble uric acid de­posits (tophi) may form. “The arthri­tis from gout is prob­a­bly one of the most painful arthritic con­di­tions that we see. Says Linda Mileti, MD, with Cleve­land Clinic’s Depart­ment of Rheuma­to­logic and Im­muno­logic Dis­ease, “Gout flares are hor­ri­bly painful. When pa­tients ex­pe­ri­ence one for the first time, they of­ten think they’ve bro­ken a bone.” Mount­ing ev­i­dence sug­gests

If your big toe hurts like hell, it could be a sign your heart is in bad shape

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