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Gout is inflammation in and around joints due to uric acid crystals.
Uric acid comes from the break down of purine from food or human cells. Sometimes the body makes too much uric acid. It may also have problems passing uric acid out of the body through the kidneys. Uric acid crystals form when uric acid levels get too high. This leads to gout.
Gout is more common in men and older adults. But it can happen in men and women at any age.
Other risk factors are:
Certain foods and drinks may also raise your chances of gout.
Here are some symptoms:
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Most people with gout have more than one attack. This attack may be on many joints. Chalky deposits of uric acid called tophi can form. They often form in the elbows and earlobes, but may form in any part of the body.
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Fluid from the affected joint will be taken. This fluid will be tested for uric acid crystals.
Your blood and urine may be tested.
Pictures may be taken of your body. This can be done with:
Treatment depends on whether the gout is acute or recurrent.
In general, the sooner you get medical help for an acute attack, the better. Treatment depends on:
Putting an ice pack on the joint may ease the pain. Keeping the weight of clothes or bed covers off the joint can also help.
Medications may include:
If you get gout more than once, you may be advised to treat it with:
If you have recurrent gout, or you have kidney stones, tophi, or reduced kidney function, you may be given medicine to:
To lower your chance of getting gout:
American Arthritis Society
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1/4/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115215/Gout: Choi HK, Willett W, Curhan G. Fructose-rich beverages and risk of gout in women. JAMA. 2010;304(20):2270-2278.
4/24/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115215/Gout: Wise JN, Weissman BN, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for chronic foot pain. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/AppCriteria/Diagnostic/ChronicFootPain.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed June 29, 2015.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 1/11/2018