Gout is a disease that occurs due to an increase in uric acid levels or a decrease in kidney function. Uric acid levels and urate is produced in the body through the breakdown of purines during cell turnover as well as through dietary intake. Gout occurs in the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint and can cause tremendous pain and discomfort to these individuals.
One medication in particular, allopurinol, is used to decrease uric acid levels in the blood. Allopurinol works as a substrate for xanthine oxidase and thus prevents the formation of uric acid which helps prevent gout attacks. Allopurinol in the past has been used with caution for individuals as it has been thought to cause kidney problems as it is excreted via the kidney. However, recent studies show that allopurinol can actually help to prevent kidney problems.
A recent research project looked at individuals who were taking allopurinol and those that were not and compared it to their chances of developing kidney diseases. When compared, they found that 12.2% of individuals taking allopurinol developed stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and 13.1% of individuals who were not taking allopurinol developed stage 3 CKD. The researchers noted that allopurinol is safe and also can reduce the risk of these patients developing kidney disease.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.