Often referred to as the “Disease of Kings” for its ties to famous monarchs such as Henry VIII, gout is an illness that can cause a royal amount of pain for those unfortunate enough to be afflicted.
Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when needle-shaped urate crystals accumulate in joints, causing inflammation, redness, swelling and intense pain. These urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.
Uric acid is a substance that results from the breakdown of purines, which are part of all human tissue and are found in many common foods. Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. When your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid, however, the buildup of acid can form crystals.
The more purines you ingest, the more uric acid your body creates, increasing the risk of gout. These purine-rich foods can trigger a gout flare-up relatively quickly — often within two days of eating higher amounts of them, a study in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found.
In an effort to reduce this pain, Dr. Goldbaum educates his patients on how to improve their gout through dietary improvements, while also treating the initial problem, typically with anti-inflammatory medications.