is a health problem that causes inflamed, painful joints. The symptoms are caused by
deposits of uric acid crystals at the joints. Gout used to be associated with kings who
overindulged in rich food and wine. In truth, anyone can get gout. Gout affects more men
than women. It is often linked with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol , and
is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. This is from too much uric acid in
the body. Too much uric acid may be caused by several things. It may be caused by the
body making too much uric acid. Or the kidneys may not get rid of enough uric acid. It
may also be caused by eating a lot of foods that are high in purines. Purines turn into
uric acid in the body.
Foods high in purines include:
attacks may be triggered by any of these:
You are at higher risk for gout if you:
causes sudden attacks of symptoms that often occur without warning. The attacks happen
again and again. Severe, chronic gout may lead to deformity. Symptoms can occur a bit
differently in each person. Common symptoms include:
Some symptoms of gout can be like other health conditions. Make sure to see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
process starts with a health history and a physical exam. Your healthcare provider may
take a fluid sample from the joint (arthrocentesis) and check it for uric acid
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may include these lifestyle
You may also need medicines, such as:
In some cases, you may need surgery to remove extremely large uric
acid crystals (tophi).
with your healthcare provider about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of
People with gout have a higher risk for kidney stones. This is because of crystal
deposits in the kidneys. They can also have kidney damage. Crystal deposits in the
joints can cause some disability because of stiffness and pain.
can reduce the risk for future flare-ups of gout and decrease their severity by taking
medicine as prescribed. If you are given medicine to take when a flare-up occurs, start
taking it at the first sign of symptoms. Or get medical attention at the first sign of
symptoms. To help prevent episodes of gout:
If your symptoms get worse or you have new symptoms, let your healthcare provider know.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-702-1000
Appointments: Call UCM Connect at 1-888-824-0200