Gout was once thought of as disease only for kings or the wealthy, brought on by overindulgence in rich foods, read meat, and alcohol, but today this painful condition is more prevalent in the general population than you might think. A form of arthritis, gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood, either because a person is predisposed to produce more uric acid or because the kidneys can’t excrete it fast enough or in sufficient quantity. Sharp urate crystals can form in and around the joints (in the feet, ankles, knees, hands, or wrists, but most often in the big toe), causing swelling, redness, and intense pain. Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and kidney disease can lead to high levels of uric acid.
A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis revealed that uric acid may cause metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. – New Culprit Identified in Metabolic Syndrome
An interesting article from the Telegraph covers a brief history of gout, symptoms and causes, and AstraZeneca’s efforts to develop a new drug to treat rising cases in the United Kingdom and here at home. – ‘Victorian Disease’ Gout Is Still Big Business