Is Gout An Early Sign of Heart Disease?

May 6, 2013 by Mayank.

The relationship between gout and full blown heart complications have been speculated ever since the signs and symptoms of each of the two medical conditions were worked out. The key link in this entire discussion is the fact that both conditions are genetics, lifestyle and medication related. Gout, also called the big toe disease is characterised by recurring inflammatory arthritis. The disease normally manifests itself by the swellings of the base of the big toe. The cause is related to increased levels of uric acid in the blood system. The extra uric acid that gets deposited in the bloodstream then crystallizes causing the inflammation. Heart disease on the other hand is a collective description of all medical conditions that affect the heart.

Specifically

The thin line or a thick one in certain instances that draws the similarity between these two medical conditions lies in the manifestation of both and what is believed to cause them. All are attributed to the poor lifestyle choices of the victims, at least in the case of gout. While most heart conditions come due to a combination of both bad lifestyles and genetics, the case with gout is largely genetics, say about 60%. There though seems to be a similar line of comparison if you look at the causative characteristic.

Of Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle related causes of gout come to about 12% of all diagnosed cases including those related to consuming large volumes of alcohol. Incidentally, the cause of heart disease in about 15% of the cases diagnosed in the Europe was also poor lifestyle related.

Blood as the Underlying Factor

The link between gout and heart disease can easily be linked to blood and substance deposition in the body. Most of heart related cases are due to constricted vessels that cause increase in blood pressure, the constriction is caused by deposits of fats and other food substances but studies do not completely rule out deposits of urea and allied substances. Whichever way, one could be a harbinger of the other.

Similarity in Symptoms

Most medical conditions associated with gout come to later manifest themselves in a majority of many victims diagnosed with heart conditions. Obesity, high blood pressure and abnormal lipid concentrations in particular are present in more than 63% of heart conditions diagnosed. They are also associated with 75% of all gout cases that get diagnosed. The link that gout could be a leading sign to heart disease is eminent here because the said conditions are present in gout victims much earlier in the disease development stage than they occur in heart disease related complications.

In Summary

The causes and manifestation of both gout and heart diseases are too closely related to actually pick them apart, however the similarities do not confirm if one condition is another's harbinger. It will be gratifying to note though that both cases can be cured with early diagnosis. The only condition here is that aside from the timely diagnosis, it has to be accurate.


Filed under: New Study.

Tags: gout and heart disease, heart complications, inflammatory arthritis, cause of gout, cause of heart disease.


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Understanding the Difference between Gout and Pseudo-gout

May 15, 2013 by Mayank.

Have you ever wondered why are you having red, swollen joints in your body which are causing you great pain? You may think, it is Gout, but many a times it might not be true, and it may rather turn out to be pseudo-Gout. Because many symptoms are same for both the conditions, many a times one is mistaken for the other. However, it is essential to diagnose the condition accurately so as to get proper, respective treatment for the same.

Over the period of time, calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate (CPPD) crystals gets deposited in your body joints, that gives rise to the condition of pseudo-Gout. The high volume of uric acid in the body supports the rise of these crystals in the joints. These pseudo-Gout characteristics differ from the normal Gout in terms of the crystal formations. Pseudo-Gout is also often referred as pyrophosphate arthropathy. Finding out the distinction between the Gout and the pseudo-Gout is important to begin the treatment accordingly.

The key differences between the Gout and the pseudo-Gout can be summed up under the following headings:

Joints

Pseudo-Gout majorly affects the larger joints in the body such as the knee, elbow, hip, shoulders and wrists. Gout, on the other hand, usually affects the smaller joints in the body like the toes.

X-ray

In case of pseudo-Gout, the radio waves clearly show the calcification in the cartilage of the joints in the body. Chondrocalcinosis is the scientific term used for the calcification of the joint cartilage. On the other hand, there is no calcification in case of regular Gout.

Crystals

The calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystals, observed in case of the joints affected by the pseudo-Gout, are rhomboid is shape. The liquid floating in the joints is observed with the help of a microscope to come to this conclusion. Whereas the monosodium urate, found in case of the joints affected by Gout, are usually needle shaped or of the shape of a spindle.

Also, positive birefringence of crystals under polarized light are observed when the pseudo-Gout affected joints are observed under the microscope. On the other hand, the Gout crystals display negative birefringence of crystal when observed under the polarized light. Regular drugs like indomethacin and Ibuprofen are the common drugs which are used to reduce the pain suffered by the gout and pseudo gout patients. Another drug used in case of Gout is Colchicine. Colchicine helps to reduce the pain causing agents in the blood cells. In case you are affected by Pseudo-Gout and your bigger joints are affected by it, you can intake high dosage of Colchicine to alleviate pain.

Medication

While drugs like allopurinol, sulfinpyrazone and probenicid work well in case of regular Gout, these drugs are ineffective when it comes to pseudo-Gout. These drugs help in suppressing CPPD crystals in the joints and form urate crystals instead.

Making a distinction between Gout and Pseudo-Gout is quite a difficult task. It becomes all the more critical considering the fact that there are separate treatments for Gout and Pseudo-Gout. The differences mentioned above in the article are sure to help you out while you are trying to distinguish between Gout and Pseudo-Gout. Another point to be kept in mind is that both these conditions can still be mixed up with inflammatory arthritis and other similar diseases.


Filed under: Gout and Pseudogout.

Tags: gout and pseudo-gout, affected by gout, gout crystals, gout drugs, colchicine, dosage of colchicine, gout treatment.


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Why are Americans at a Higher Risk for Gout?

May 30, 2013 by Teresa.

Gout, a kissing cousin of arthritis, usually attacks the big toe but can spread to the insteps, ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows. If a person suffers from a buildup of uric acid, it may begin to form painful crystals in the joints. Inflammation follows. Occasionally, even kidney stones are formed from uric acid crystals.

Statistically, it appears that gout and arthritis are less likely in countries where there is a smaller amount of meat consumed. Countries like New Zealand, China, Japan and Africa begin to see a rise in cases of gout and arthritis when a Western diet becomes more popular.

Unfortunately, gout is on the rise in the United States. But is there something that we can start doing now to prevent gout? Are there natural substances that when consumed may help to stave off gout in the first place?

A few suggestions

There are a number of alternative remedies that many believe bring relief to symptoms of gout. Although most of the information surrounding these natural adjuncts is anecdotal in nature, all of the touted remedies are good for you whether you have gout or not.

For example, taking several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, preferably low processed, combined with a little baking soda has been reported to relieve gout symptoms.

Bromelane which is found in pineapple and can be purchased in supplemental forms has beneficial micronutrients and enzymes. Want to go all natural? Juice a whole pineapple. Your body can use this power-packed drink.

Cherry extract and beet juice are both on the list of helpful products. Beet juice has other benefits including helping the kidneys and relieving constipation.

Of course, there are also the obvious lifestyle changes such as losing weight, daily exercise routine and an overall healthy diet which may go a long way towards preventing gout. Why not be proactive and give some of these wholesome possibilities a try?


Filed under: Gout Suffers, Gout Treatment and Prevention.

Tags: Risk for gout, gout and arthritis, gout is on the rise, prevent gout, relieve gout symptoms.


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