Facts: Needle-shaped monosodium urate crystals build up in joints and tissues. This causes:
- Recurrent attacks of extremely painful joint inflammation (called gouty arthritis).
- Tophi, or lumps of crystals under the skin, in the joints and in bone.
- Kidney stones.
- Impaired kidney function (called gouty nephropathy or urate nephropathy).
Crystals form when there is an excess of uric acid (also called urate) in the blood. Uric acid comes from breakdown of foods containing purines. Some of the foods that can bring on a gout attack include:
- Animal organs (liver, kidney, brain)
- Red meats (veal, beef and lamb)
- Seafood (i.e. shrimp, shell fish, etc.)
- Small fish, such as sardines and anchovies
Gout is a treatable condition. With proper treatment recurrences are reduced. Medications are available to relieve the pain of gouty arthritis and preserve the joins and kidneys. Gout tends to occur within families, supporting a genetic link of disease susceptibility and affects men of any age and post-menopausal women.
Dr. Bard studied under under the world authority in treating Gout and is an expert in the field.