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Gout is an acute type of arthritis that causes severe and persistent pain and inflammation in the joints. It primarily affects the big toe, feet, and legs. Gout can happen to anyone, but it is more common in men than in women. Gout is four times more common in men than it is in women. More than 80% of the 1 million Americans with gout are men. Why is gout more common in men than in women? Hyperuricemia (abnormally elevated uric acid levels) is the cause of gout.
The amount of uric acids in men’s bodies is significantly higher than that of women. The uric acid levels in men increase during puberty and continue to rise. By the time men reach their 40s, their levels of uric acid have been elevated for a long time, which can lead to gout. Women, on the contrary, are more likely to develop arthritic conditions in their 60’s and become more susceptible to gout when they go through menopause.
Because estrogen levels have decreased, uric acid levels in females reach the same levels as men after menopause. Estrogen helps keep uric acid levels under control. What is uric acid? It is a waste product that your body makes after it has broken down purines. These natural substances are found in every cell of our body and in almost all foods we eat.
Because they create genes, purines are essential for the body. Uric acid also acts as an antioxidant in the body. It protects blood vessels from damage and prevents their inner linings becoming damaged. To maintain our bodies’ health and well-being, we need to consume a certain amount purines and uric acids. If uric acids levels are too high in the blood or elsewhere in the body, they can build up and accumulate, and eventually form uric crystals. These crystals can build up in the joints and organs.
What causes high levels of uric acid? Overproduction of uric acids – The kidneys are responsible for filtering and releasing uric acid through urine. If the body produces too much uric acid, the kidneys can’t expel it enough. Uric acid buildup can also occur if the kidneys don’t function properly, if there is an inherited enzyme abnormality, or if there is a history of blood cancer.
Consuming foods high in protein – Foods rich in protein can also be high in purines. These include organ meats like the liver, kidneys, and liver. fish (IE mackerel and herring, muscles, anchovies, and sardines), and food containing yeast. High levels of uric acid can be caused by medication, especially diuretics. High uric acid levels can also be caused by obesity, excessive salt intake, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. As you can see, gout is not difficult to develop due to men already having high levels of uric acids in their bodies.