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What is Gout?

Gout is a subset of arthritis that is caused by the needle-like crystals of uric acid in your joints, muscle, and/or skin. The crystals form because your body is either overproducing or underexcreting uric acid, which can then group together to form structures that can cause large amounts of pain. Gout typically manifests in 'episodes', which can last from several days to a week. However, there may be as much as several years in between outbreaks in affected persons. 

Why Should You Care?
Risk Factors

Why Should You Care?

- A little less than 1 out of 100 people in the U.S. have or will have gout at some point. 



- Overproduction of uric acid  - Underexcretion of uric acid
- Certain medications  


Risk Factors

- Obesity  - Family history   
- Age  - Being male
- Thyroid malfunctions  - Drinking large amounts of beer
- Exposure to lead  - Organ transplants

- Certain medications(1)

   - Diuretics  - Aspirin
   - Cyclosporine  - Levodopa
   - Purine - rich diet  
   - Dairy products appear to be good        - Vegetables with purine are fine
   - Organ meats increase risk  
      - Liver meat  - Calf tongue
      - etc.   



-There are several stages of gout, which are marked by different symptoms.

 - Asymptomatic tissue deposition  
     - Typically no overt symptoms of arthritis, but hyperuracemia is present  

        - Gout crystals may have formed, but aren't causing flares

  - Acute flairs:  
     - Can last from days to weeks    
   - Present with:                           
      - Pain - Redness                                                  
      - Swelling  
   - Usually in joint of big toe  
      - Can be many joints in elderly


Intercritical Segments:  
    - After acute flairs, gout can be inactive until the next  
       - Without treatment, there will be another flare  
    - Interval between flairs will decrease over time  
    - Hyperuracemia continues

 - Chronic gout:

    - Form of chronic arthritis   
       - Sore / aching joints  
     - Tophi may form in cooler parts of the body  
        - Elbows                                                 - Outer ear                              
        - Fingerjoints   - Toes
        - Knees  



- Hyperuricemic medication  
- Physical therapy  
- Occupational therapy  
- Splints  - Joint-assistive aids
- Education  
- Weight loss  
- Surgery to remove tophi  





- The Center for Disease Control has more detailed information and facts on gout.

  • Sources: 1. Choi, Hyon K. "The New England Journal of Medicine. Purine-Rich Foods, Dairy and Protein Intake, and the Risk of Gout in Men - NEJM. New England Journal of Medicine, 11 Mar. 2004. Web. 21 May 2013. 
  • 2. Center for Disease Control



* CIS does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The content is for information purposes only.