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Hey, How's The Weather?

There are a number of things which seem to "set off" gout in a person's body. Anything from a kick at a soccer ball to what they eat has an effect upon the gout sufferer and may determine whether they will have an attack of gout.

The Pain Of Gout

Gout is an inflammatory disease which occurs when there is a build up of uric acid, in the form of monosodium uric crystals, in the joints. The most prevalent place for this to occur is in the big toe. It is an incredibly painful affliction and includes inflammation, redness, swelling, heat and extreme pain in the joint. An attack can also generate fever, chills, a general feeling of sickness and rapid heartbeat. There are a number of ways to deal with the issue, from holistic to conventional medicine, and often people work with a variety of disciplines to achieve respite from the pain of gout.

As If A Person With Gout Doesn't Haven Enough To Think About

Now there's another thing to think about for the person with gout. The weather. Heat and humidity have a very profound effect upon gout sufferers. For instance, when it is very hot and dry the body is quickly depleted of fluids through perspiration. This depletion has been considered a potential trigger for repeated gout attacks for a long time.

A test to determine whether the weather did, in fact, have an effect upon recurrent attacks of gout included 197 people who had experienced an attack of gout within the past year. They were requested to log onto a specific Website to complete a questionnaire when they experienced a gout attack. The information requested on the site included information from what is called the "hazard period" which is two days prior to the event. They were asked to fill out the same questionnaire over the period of a two-day control time. Such information as climatic data-temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and precipitation-for each person's zip code area, was obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This information was compared between the two periods of hazard and control with adjustments to the information based on alcohol and purine intake and diuretic use.

The Evidence Is Conclusive-Weather Affects Gout

Risks of recurrent gout attacks were clearly and strongly associated with high temperature and high humidity. In fact, risk of recurrent attacks were nearly doubled when the maximum daily temperature increased from 0-53F to 87-105F. There was a similar amount of increased risk when the humidity increased from 4-32F to 64-77F. Neither barometric pressure nor precipitation seemed to have any bearing on the gout attacks.

Now Do You Believe You Need To Drink More Water?

Yuquing Zhang, D.Sc. Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts says, "Our data indicate that both high temperature and high humidity are associated with an increased risk of recurrent gout attacks." He added, "Thus, when it's hot and humid, those with gout should consider drinking more fluids to avoid potentially painful gout attacks."