People with gout have enzyme deficiency, more specifically digestive enzyme uricase, which oxidizes relatively insoluble uric acid into a highly soluble compound. As a result, uric acid accumulates in the blood and tissues. The built-up uric acid forms needle like crystals, especially at low body temperatures. And like a needle, it jabs its way into the joints, causing inflammation and pain.
And the coolest part of the body, farthest from the heart, happens to be the big toe. "Three-fourths of the time, you wake up with a red-hot swollen toe joint as the first presentation of gout," says podiatrist Andersen. But it can impact other joints as well, including ankle, knee, wrist, and fingers.
Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood usually indicates poor kidney function and weak digestive system. Uric acid is a by-product of certain foods, so gout is closely related to diet. Obesity, alcohol, high protein diet and junk food increase the risk of developing gout. Approximately 90% of the people who suffer from gout are male, most commonly between the ages of forty and fifty.
Many herbs can help improve the condition, such as alfalfa, bilberry, devil's claw, yucca, birch, burdock, juniper, and turmeric. Change of diet and lifestyle is necessary.