Gout

What is Gout?

Gout is a disorder in which deposits of uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints because of high blood levels of uric acid (hyperuricaemia).1 The accumulations of these crystals cause attacks of painful inflammation in and around joints.1,2

An acute gout attack is typically intermittent and is one of the most painful conditions experienced by humans.1

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WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines – substances that are found naturally in your body and in many foods.3

Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming urate crystals which collect in your joints and cause gout.3

However, not everyone with high uric acid levels develops painful gout.3

GOUT IS MOST COMMON IN MEN BETWEEN THE AGES

OF 40-503

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WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?

You are most likely to get gout if you: 2,3

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    Have high blood levels of uric acid (hyperuricaemia)

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    Have a close relative with gout (genetic factors)

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    Eat a lot of foods that can increase uric acid levels

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    Drink a lot of alcohol

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    Have high blood pressure (hypertension)

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    Have metabolic syndrome

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    Are overweight or obese

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    Take water tablets (diuretics, which can be used to treat high blood pressure)

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    Have kidney problems, like chronic kidney disease

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WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? 3,4

When uric acid builds up in the blood, it forms needle-like crystals in the joints, causing inflammation.

The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly, and often at night. They include:

Intense joint pain

Gout usually affects the large joint of your big toe, but it can occur in any joint. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.

Lingering discomfort

After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks.

Inflammation & redness

The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.

Limited range of motion

As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally.

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TREATMENTS FOR GOUT

Treatment for gout usually involves medications - which are used to treat acute attacks and prevent future attacks.5

Gout treatments include medicines to ease inflammation, lower or break down uric acid in the blood, or help the kidneys flush excess uric acid.6

Commonly used medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, or corticosteroids. These reduce inflammation and pain in the areas affected by gout and are usually taken orally.3,5

Other medications are used to either reduce the production of uric acid or improve the kidney’s ability to remove uric acid from the body.5

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LIFESTYLE CHANGES 3,5

Medications are often the most effective way to treat acute gout and can prevent recurrent attacks, however, adopting healthy lifestyle habits is a key part of an effective gout treatment plan:

  • Limit alcohol usage and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose). Instead, drink plenty of nonalcoholic beverages, especially water.
  • Eat a healthy diet by limiting the intake of foods high in purines, such as red meat, organ meats and seafood.
  • Exercise regularly and lose weight. Keeping your body at a healthy weight reduces your risk of gout.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GOUT AND ASSISTANCE

WITH THE MEDICATIONS THAT ARE RIGHT FOR YOU -

SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR

Click on the button below to get an overview of “THE INs AND OUTs OF GOUT”

icon The In’s and Out’s of Gout

References:

1. Choi HK, Mount DB, Reginato AM. Pathogenesis of Gout. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:499–516. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-143-7-200510040-00009.

2. Roddy E, Doherty M. Epidemiology of Gout. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2010;12:233.

3. Arthritis Foundation. Gout. Available at: https://arthritis.org/diseases/gout. Accessed: 26 February 2020.

4. Mayo Clinic. Gout-Symptoms and Causes. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/symptoms-causes/syc-20372897. Accessed: 26 February 2020.

5. Mayo Clinic. Gout-Diagnosis and treatment. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372903. Accessed: 26 February 2020.

6. American College of Rheumatology. Ptient fact sheet: Gout. Available at: www.ACRPatientInfo.org. Accessed: 26 February 2020.