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Gout, An Overview, Part 1

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Gout. Gout rhymes with pout, shout, out and about. However, rhyming still doesn’t give you a medical explanation of what you are possibly experiencing - not in my lifetime of rhyming anyway. So what exactly are you dealing with or potentially (not) looking forward to? Let’s break it down in a different manner, shall we?

The medical description of gout refers to this disease – yes, a disease – in the arthritis family. It is a condition that occurs when your body creates elevated levels of uric acid in your bloodstream. This is called Hyperuricemia, which is the root of a gout attack. The good news is 95% of people with Hyperuricemia will not get gout. The bad news is, if you do get gout, some say it can be painfully compared to childbirth or a broken bone. So, if you feel like a joint in your body is giving birth to a child, you can probably go ahead and assume you are experiencing a gout attack.

Women’s misperceptions of gout is that it is a rare disease and most commonly occurs in middle-aged overweight men, so obviously it is not something to concern them selves with. This is wrong. There are over 5.1 million Americans living with gout affecting men and women alike. However, for women, it is certainly more common to get gout post-menopause. So, just when you thought you were in the clear of menopause symptoms, now you can look forward to the possibility of a child-birthing like joint pain. Goodness, we women have it rough!

But why after menopause? This fact proves true with simple science. During menopause your body cuts down the amount of estrogen it produces drastically, and because estrogen aides your kidneys in extracting uric acid, your kidneys are virtually left to work alone. Overtime as your kidneys slow down its ability to remove uric acid from the bloodstream, the remaining is building up and preparing to form. So while you are dealing with the trials and tribulations of menopause thinking you are just about in the clear, gout can rear its ugly head where you least expect it -- your big toe. As crazy as this sounds, the formation of crystals in your joint leading to a gout attack can potentially take up to 10 years.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Samara - Thanks for providing so much information on gout! I worked with someone who was dealing with this and was in a lot of pain. I'm looking forward to Part 2, and learning more.
Best regards,

October 26, 2009 - 6:04pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.