Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Gout is inflammation in and around joints.
Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines in foods. Some foods also contain purines. 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.
The main risk factor is having high levels of uric acid in the blood. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
The pain may last a few days or weeks. It may go away and then come back. It often affects only one joint at a time.
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You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Uric acid levels will be tested. This can be done with:
Pictures may be taken of the joint. This can be done with:
The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. This can be done with:
To lower the risk of gout:
American Arthritis Society
Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Gout. Accessed September 25, 2020.
Gout. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout. Accessed September 25, 2020.
Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/gout. Accessed September 25, 2020.
Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Accessed September 25, 2020.
Gout management—prevention of recurrent attacks. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/gout-management-prevention-of-recurrent-attacks. Accessed September 25, 2020.
Gout overview. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/gout.html. Accessed September 25, 2020.
Pascart T, Lioté F. Gout: state of the art after a decade of developments. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2019 Jan 1;58(1):27-44.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated:6/8/2021