Gout and Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones (renal calculi) are formed as a result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. Once they make their way into the urinary tract severe pain in the groin, stomach, or flank area can ensue. A decrease in urination coupled with a large amount of stone-forming substances can cause these types of stones to appear. These stones can be formed by the mixture of calcium with oxalate or phosphate; and/or the combination of uric acid and amino acid cysteine.

Much like Gout, Kidney stones are being diagnosed more and more in recent years. The same type of stones can develop in the bladder as well, but are much more uncommon and have remained relatively low and unchanged by comparison. Over the span of almost 30 years, the Mayo Clinic observed a significant rise in the incidences of kidney stones; particularly in adult women. With more accurate CT scans our ability to monitor and diagnose stones are partly behind a good portion of this rise in cases, but also goes hand in hand with the rise in Obesity and Diabetes Type 2. Diets high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt have been to blame for stones and this type of diet certainly fits the profile for all of these conditions.

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The Gallbladder: Facts and Myths

What is a Cholecystectomy

Cholecystectomies are one of the most over performed surgeries in the United States, and far too often, completely uncalled-for. Even in the presence of gallstones, one should always consider alternatives before rushing under the knife. The gallbladder is an essential organ responsible for collecting and storing bile in order to process and digest fats. To say that it can just be removed without consequence, is rather reckless. Aside from a number of potential dangers and complications stemming from its removal, weight problems and diabetes type two risks rise significantly.

Gallbladder attacks are often a sign of much larger problems, problems that do not simply disappear only once a small piece of that puzzle is removed. Our typical desire for instant gratification, coupled with the misconstrued notion that the gall bladder is an unnecessary organ, has led to an alarming number of these senseless surgeries.

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What is CRP and what does it have to do with your health?

What is CRP?

CRP stands for C-reactive protein.  This protein is produced by the liver in response to elements released from certain white blood cells known as macrophages; as well as elements released from fat cells (adipocytes.)  CRP levels rise in the presence of inflammation and take on a role to bind with chemical compounds that are released on the surface of a dying or dead cell.  This process is part of an immune system response to enhance the ability of antibodies and bacteria/pathogen eating cells (phagocytic cells) to eliminate damaged cells from the body.  Certain chronic inflammatory conditions cause the release of IL-6 (interleukin-6) that trigger the release of CRP.  IL-6 is a type of immune protein in the family of cytokines that can act as both an anti-inflammatory and a pro-inflammatory.

As discussed in previous blog posts, inflammation is a normal body process necessary for our body’s response to fight infection and injury.  It is a natural part of our immune system’s ability to send white blood cells and other chemical compounds to a trouble area of the body in an effort to help it heal.  However, in the presence of chronic conditions such as Arthritis, Colitis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Gout, Heart Disease, Asthma, Diabetes, and more – the constant “fire” of inflammation can be disastrous, even deadly.
Continue reading “What is CRP and what does it have to do with your health?”

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Electrolyte imbalances, Inflammation, and Disease

As we know, inflammation is the major underlying factor behind chronic, degenerative diseases.  The body’s cells work very hard to maintain pH balance in the body.  Our typical American diet and lifestyle is largely acidic and makes this process extremely difficult. 

When overly acidic imbalances are present in the body, the cellular health is compromised.  Decreased cellular oxygen levels and metabolic declines cause cells to ‘die off’ at a rapid rate.  As acidic residues increase, the body attempts to buffer these acids with alkaline minerals (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium) in order to excrete them from the body.  In the presence of such acidic diets and lifestyles, this buffering system can easily reach maximum capability, quickly leading to acidic waste storage in the tissues.

Cells require very specific ion balance.  Electrolytes must be maintained within specific limits to balance the pH of the body’s environment.  Even the slightest acid increases can quickly lead to inflammation of the organs and tissues. Continue reading “Electrolyte imbalances, Inflammation, and Disease”

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Gout and Cancer Connection?

Gout and Cancer Connection?

Is there a connection between Gout and Cancer?  Gout is a common inflammatory disease with incidences largely increasing with each passing year and affecting younger and younger age groups  more than ever before.  Acute arthritis and hyperuricemia stems from purine metabolism dysfunction, causing urate crystals to deposit into the tissue leading to kidney stones, soft tissue growths, urate nephropathy and/or arthritis.  Epidemiological studies have been conducted to estimate the potential association between Gout and Cancer risks.  These studies have displayed a preeminent role of Gout in carcinogenesis.

Cellular death and higher turnover rates can bring about hyperuricemia and the formation of tumors (tumorigenesis.)  Even though strong evidence exists to show the connection between high serum uric acid levels and an independent increased risk of cancer, the subject remains disputable. Continue reading “Gout and Cancer Connection?”

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Gout can be found in dogs and other animals

Excessive amounts of uric acid in the bloodstream are not limited to only humans.  Gout can affect our loving canine and feline friends, as well.  Whereas humans are more likely to experience crystal deposits in the joint extremities, animals tend to grow uric acid crystals in their urine.  When animals are unable to assimilate calcium and other minerals, abnormal uric acid and calcium levels can also deposit into the paws, toes, elbows, neck, ears, and tongue.  This is know as calcified skin lesions, or Casinosis Cutis, and more common in breeds such as Boxers and Boston Terriers.  Calcium “Gout” can also create a chalky liquid that can ooze from the paws. Continue reading “Gout can be found in dogs and other animals”

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New evidence of increased risk of death with Febuxostat (Uloric)

According to the latest CARES trial, the Gout drug Febuxostat (Uloric) failed up against Allopurinol when it came down to a combined rate of fatal and nonfatal adverse events for those that suffer with both Gout and Cardiovascular disease.  In fact, there was a significant increased risk of death for those that took this drug for Gout while also suffering from heart disease.

The trial was mandated by the FDA and consisted of 6,190 patients, 84% of which were men.  Cardiovascular risk is naturally increased in patients with Gout.  The study was attempting to look at any difference in outcome for these patients taking Febuxostat, a nonpurine xanthine oxidase inhibitor, or those taking Allopurinol, a purine base analogue xanthine oxidase inhibitor.  The patients were followed for a median of 32 months, and a maximum of 85 months.  Without diving into all of the ratio statistics, the all-cause and cardiovascular mortality rate was higher in the Febuxostat group, 34% and 22% higher respectively. Continue reading “New evidence of increased risk of death with Febuxostat (Uloric)”

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Arthritis and Gout are no longer considered “old man diseases”……..and they are dangerous!

These painful joint conditions were once considered the inevitable outcome of old aging joints.  However, these painful conditions have more than doubled in the past 10-15 years, with a shocking amount of sufferers now found to be under the age of 40.  Doctors have seen the sharpest rise in patients in their 20’s and 30’s, some 30% since 2012, suffering from a disease that was once thought to be limited to royalty.  Not so coincidentally, the rise in obesity, Diabetes Type 2, and prescriptions such as low-dose aspirin and diuretics has occurred almost simultaneously.

Even still there is large percentage of the population that suffers silently having never been diagnosed, or sometimes misdiagnosed.  Gout especially can be overlooked by medical professionals due to inaccurate blood measurements of Uric Acid.  Unless the fluid is directly aspirated from the joint it can be difficult to identify.  Many that are under an attack at the time they are seen by a physician will have low to normal blood serum Uric Acid levels.  Why is this?  Continue reading “Arthritis and Gout are no longer considered “old man diseases”……..and they are dangerous!”

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Antibiotics- How do they affect your health?

Gout, Arthritis, Inflammation and Antibiotics

 

Antibiotics have played an integral role in modern medicine saving countless lives from bacterial pathogens that would have otherwise claimed them.  This holds true under terms that we remain responsible with the administration of such a powerful resource.  Unfortunately, organisms evolve and as such we have found ourselves at the mercy of antibiotic resistant microbes stemming from the misuse and overuse of Antibiotics.

Antibiotic literally means “against life.”  While its role has been critical in destroying the life of bad bacteria, antibiotics are indiscriminate when it comes to the life of the good bacteria our bodies still need to survive.  Research has shown that childhood antibiotic use can inhibit the normal growth and development of healthy gut bacteria.  Over 70% of the immune system resides in our gut and is home to the trillions of bacteria that play a crucial part of our physical and mental health.  We are now learning how the general shaping of our intestinal health early on in life can determine our future dealings with our immune systems and disease. Continue reading “Antibiotics- How do they affect your health?”

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The Negative Effects of Antibiotics on The Body

Believe it or not the Antibiotics you are popping like candies come with harmful side effects that can cripple you. Antibiotics may be prescription drugs meant to treat infections, but they usually do more harm than good. Some of its negative effects include:

Inflammation

Prolonged use of antibiotics can cause inflammation in the large intestine. Known as Clostridium difficile- induced colitis, the condition is the result of the
growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Typical symptoms of the condition include loose stools, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain that can be crippling in its intensity. In worse case scenarios, you can also get a fever along with these symptoms if you take antibiotics for your ailments. The risk of developing this condition increases as we age and it is particularly high in infants and children.

Most antibiotics change the quality of healthy bacteria in the intestines and allow the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria. The latter is imminent as these meds create an environment in the gut that is ideal for the growth of said bacteria such as the Clostridium difficile. This bacterium releases toxins that attack the lining of the large intestine leading to inflammation. Continue reading “The Negative Effects of Antibiotics on The Body”

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