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 medications, such as:
- Low-dose aspirin
- Cyclosporin, an antirejection drug
- Chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer
- Kidney disease
- Obesity, sudden weight gain, or rapid weight loss
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Congestive heart failure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Sickle cell anemia
- Certain types of cancer
- Exposure to lead
Certain foods and drinks may also raise your chances of gout.
- Foods high in purines, such as red meat and seafood
- High-fructose drinks, such as sugar-sweetened sodas and orange juice
- Excess alcohol
Here are some symptoms:
- Sudden pain in a joint, usually starting in the big toe
- Joints that are red, hot, swollen, and tender
|Gout of the Big Toe|
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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:
- CT scan
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:
- The number of joints with gout
- Previous responses to treatment
- Your health
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:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Corticosteroids—may be given by mouth or as an injection into the joint
If you get gout more than once, you may be advised to treat it with:
- A low purine diet
- Alcohol avoidance
- Gradual weight loss in those who are overweight
- Stopping or changing medicines that may be causing it
- Drinking more fluids
If you have recurrent gout, or you have kidney stones, tophi, or reduced kidney function, you may be given medicine to:
- Lower the uric acid your body makes
- Raise the amount of uric acid expelled by the kidneys
- Convert uric acid into a byproduct
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Gouty Arthritis)
American Arthritis Society http://www.americanarthritis.org
Arthritis Foundation https://www.arthritis.org
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