Keith’s GoutPal Story 2020 Forums Please Help My Gout! Crystals build up in untreated gout proof?

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    Jason M

    Hi, been reading lots on this forum. Very informative. I am 41 yrs and had gout for nearly 20 years. I get an attack once per year always in spring/summer.

    Two questions I have:

    1. How can you prove that gout crystals form in most joints, causing damage when uric acid levels have been untreated for many years?

    2. If they actually do, the crystals are covered in protein so the body leaves them alone. So how would this cause a accumulative joint damage over years?

    Keith Taylor

    Hi Jason,

    I’m not sure what you mean by Q1. Do you mean general proof that this happens, or do you mean personal testing for you or me as individuals.

    For 2, it’s the age old misunderstanding of how gout damage occurs. Uric acid crystals do not abrade, or otherwise physically interfere with joint tissues. It’s a biological process.

    All tissues and bones in our bodies have a lifetime that is much less than ours. As we go through life, some parts of us grow, but most is just replaced. Bone and tissue replacement is a constant process that relies on specialist cells. Joints are made up of bone, cartilage, and tendons. Each part has specialist cells that our bodies manufacture when healthy. Similarly, we have white blood cells that fight infection, and other threats, such as uric acid crystals. White blood cells form part of the protein covering that you refer to. Unfortunately, other specialist cells that should be repairing and renewing joints get caught up in the fight. Therefore, joints gradually crumble as they fail to be repaired. This obviously takes several years, but it means that joint replacement or amputation becomes an issue at a time in our lives when we should be enjoying retirement.

    It annoys me that frontline health specialists, especially those focused on pain relief, do not pay enough attention to the long term destructive effects of gout.

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