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News and Information
Severe Gout Dangers by Christina Ray at livestrong.com
Gout has been named as the cause of the worst pain ever experienced by two-thirds of gout patients interviewed in 2006, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The pain of gout can impair the ability to perform simple tasks such as walking or putting on shoes. Even the slight weight of a bed sheet upon a gout-inflamed joint can create extreme pain that wakes some gout patients in the middle of the night.
The crystals that accumulate in joints due to gout can cause damage to bone and cartilage, initiating erosion that can lead to permanent joint damage. Tophi are clumps of uric acid that can grow to the size of golf balls and lodge with in a joint, limiting range of motion and destroying skeletal structures. Tophi themselves are not typically painful, according to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, but they can swell and become sensitive during attacks of gout.
Spinal compression can occur, albeit rarely, when tophi grow within the joints of the spine. Complete disability is possible in instances where joint destruction due to tophi is severe.
MayoClinic.com notes that uric acid crystals can accumulate and grow into kidney stones within the urinary tract. This occurs due to the kidney's inability to cope with the excessive levels of uric acid in the blood. When these stones move from the kidney through the ureters they can cause extreme pain. Twenty-five percent of people with chronically elevated levels of uric acid in the blood develop kidney disease, and kidney failure can result.
People with hypertension and heart disease experience gout more frequently than others, and high uric acid levels have been associated with higher mortality rates among cardiac patients.
The metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions such as excess abdominal fat, hypertension and unhealthy levels of fats in the blood. This syndrome has been connected with gout, increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
3 pounds butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons real organic butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 leek, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
32 oz box of organic vegetable broth
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pure salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sherry wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pour a thin layer of water in a baking dish, or a cookie sheet with sides. Place the squash halves cut side down on the dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Cool slightly, then remove the peel. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic, and saute for a few minutes, until tender. Pour the broth into the pot. Add the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Add the squash, and mash with the potatoes until chunks are small. Use an immersible hand blender to puree the soup, or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches, and puree until smooth. Return to the pot.
Season the soup with cayenne pepper, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pepper, then stir in the sherry and half-and-half cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Ladle into bowls, and top with a dollop of sour cream.
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