Is Gout Inflammatory Disease?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease associated with the abnormality immune system, how about gout? It is also a kind of arthritis but it has nothing to with the autoimmune disorder (a condition that often causes excess inflammation in the body). It is thought as a result from excessive accumulation of needle-like crystals in the joint. These crystals are urate crystals, derived from uric acid.

Understanding inflammatory disease in general

Actually, the inflammation itself is a biological (natural) response of the body in interpreting a thing that can cause a potentially harmful effect. Typically, it is a respond to infection and injury. It is a biological mechanism in the body’s healing system.

So inflammation is not always bad, but …

Inflammation is a complex process since it involves many components of blood, as well as different types of cells. It is naturally designed to work quickly in order to isolate the injured /infected tissues and eliminate damaged cells faster so thus will not give a significant impact (bad impact) to the rest of the healthy cells.

But if the amount of inflammation is greater than the body needs or when it becomes uncontrolled, causing excess inflammation in the body, this is considered as inflammatory disorders.

Inflammation is often reported as a secondary component in many health conditions. An example of this is narrowing and hardening arteries (atherosclerosis), a common cause of cardiovascular diseases.

Autoimmune disease is a common cause behind inflammatory disorder

There are dozens of inflammatory diseases. While some can be a result from injury or trauma, many of them are associated with the abnormality of immune system (autoimmune disorder). In arthritis (a joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis is a term used to call arthritis that occurs due a consequence from autoimmune disorder.

What is autoimmune disorder? As the name implies, it is a condition of when the immune system fails to work in its normal way. Many times, it is associated with the wrong respond or overactive condition of immune system.

Normally, the immune system is the defense system of the body to help fight against any harmful thing such as harmful virus and bacteria. In autoimmune disorder, the immune system can attack /fall upon the wrong targets such as its own healthy tissues – see more in this section!

How does inflammation cause damage to healthy tissues and cells?

There are numerous of ways by which inflammation cause damage to normal cells and tissues. One of them is a mechanism called MAC or Membrane Attack Complex.

In MAC, the damage from inflammation occurs by the action of gathering complex proteins that forms holes on the cell’s surface. This can be potential to cause damage or even death of cell.

Understanding the way of how inflammation occurs in specific health condition is so essential. Because this can help determine the most effective treatment to cope with the problem!

Gout is an inflammatory disease, too

image_illustration232This kind of arthritis is a form of inflammatory disease that can cause a sudden flare-up following with classic symptoms particularly such as sudden and intense joint pain, most likely in the affected large joint of the big toe. Other symptoms may include tenderness, stiffness, and swelling.

Unlike rheumatoid arthritis (a popular form of inflammatory arthritis), gout is not linked to autoimmune disease. It is thought as a result from the excess accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint, as noted before.

Again, many times it affects the big-toe’s joint. But it also can be found in other joints of the body such as knees, ankles, hands, elbows, and writs. At first, it usually attacks one joint at a time. But since it tends to become chronic, there is greater chance for it to affect several joints.

Having gout may signal that the body is more sensitive to inflammation. That’s why, it is commonly recommended to restrict foods that trigger excess inflammation in the body, too.

Yap, diet can give a significant contribution in controlling gout, even also can be essential to reduce the risk of having this joint problem. Appropriate diet is also important for other forms of arthritis, but may be not as essential as in gout.

For a complete guide of remedies and lifestyle approaches to prevent the flare-up of gout from recurring and cope with this disease, see this post!

Citations

  1. http://www.tpims.org/disease-research/inflammatory-disorders
  2. http://www.arthritis.org/arthritis-facts/disease-center/gout.php