The symptoms of gout are caused by the presence of uric acid crystals in the joints, tendons and surrounding tissue. These crystals of urate are formed when there are high uric acid levels in the bloodstream, a condition called 'hyperuricemia.'
Uric acid is a by-product of the body's metabolism. During this essential process chemical compounds called 'purines,' which exist in our body cells and in our food, actually breakdown and uric acid is one of the components produced. Purines are essential for survival because they help to convert our food into energy and genes into protein.
And uric acid itself is a good thing too because it is a powerful antioxidant, can help protect cells from DNA damage, and helps prevent damage to our blood vessel linings. So that having normal healthy levels in the bloodstream is beneficial.
The kidneys play an important role in processing and flushing excess uric acid out of the body, mainly through the urine but with a very small amount through the stools.
But when the kidneys aren't working to 100% and / or the body is producing too much uric acid for the kidneys to cope with, excess uric acid is retained in the bloodstream, leading to hyperuricemia.
Over time these high levels result in urate crystals being formed out of the uric acid. These then accumulate in the joints and surrounding tissue causing the agonizing symptoms of gout that require fast gout pain relief.
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