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Gout is an inflammatory disease of the joints caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is formed by the breakdown of purines, which are important building blocks in the body and in food. Gout is therefore caused by a disease of the purine metabolism. An elevated uric acid level in the blood can occur on the one hand through an increase in uric acid production. This is caused by the breakdown of purine-rich foods such as offal, red meat, sausages, soft drinks, etc. meat, sausages, soft drinks or smoothies. On the other hand, uric acid levels can increase due to insufficient excretion of uric acid via the kidneys, e.g. in the case of kidney disease or taking certain medications. Genetics also play a role here. Uric acid has limited solubility in the blood and tissues, similar to sugar in a glass of water.

If the uric acid level in the blood is too high, uric acid crystals form and are deposited in the joints and/or tissues, where they can cause inflammation and thus pain. An acute attack of gout often begins with involvement of a single joint, such as the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe, but multiple joints may be affected. Symptoms include severe pain, redness and inflammation of the joint, as in the commonly known gout finger, which develop preferentially in the early morning hours or at night. If the uric acid level in the blood is not lowered sufficiently, then chronic gout may develop with recurrent attacks. In chronic gout, the deposited uric acid crystals, also called gouty nodules or tophi, can lead to joint damage. For the treatment of gout, in addition to a change in lifestyle, in particular the avoidance of a purine-rich diet, restriction of alcohol consumption, weight reduction, sufficient fluid intake and physical activity, drug treatment is also necessary in many cases to permanently lower the uric acid level.



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Liebe Besucherin, lieber Besucher, die auf unserer Homepage gewählte Geschlechtsform bezieht sich immer zugleich auf weibliche, männliche und diverse Personen. Wir haben ausschließlich zum Zweck der besseren Lesbarkeit auf eine geschlechtsspezifische Schreibweise bzw. auf eine Mehrfachbezeichnung verzichtet. Alle personenbezogenen Bezeichnungen sind geschlechtsneutral zu verstehen.