What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis, or inflammation of the joint(s). It is characterized by sudden, often overnight attacks of intense pain, heat, swelling, redness and tenderness in the affected joint. It usually occurs in one joint at a time, but it may affect any of the joints in the body. Gout is caused by the buildup of tiny crystals of *uric acid* due to high levels of *uric acid* in the body.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Sudden flares of severe pain
- Swelling and redness in the affected joint(s)
- Pain that typically comes at night
- Pain that commonly occurs in the big toe, ankle, knee, elbow, wrist or finger.
Acute Gout can be treated as follows…
Medications that can reduce the pain and swelling include:
- Non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) – (avoid if you have any liver, kidney, stomach or bleeding problems)
- Steroids – (tablets or injection)
- Colchicine (side effects include diarrhea and/or vomiting).
See a doctor in person if…
- You have a fever
- You have chills
- You vomit
- The redness of the joint spreads
- You are unable to bend the joint
Check in with K if…
- You’re not feeling better within 3-4 days. If that happens, come back so we can re-evaluate your treatment plan.
- If you’re overweight, losing weight will reduce your number of flares
- Eating healthy food, such as fruits and vegetables
- Limiting red meat, shellfish, sugary drinks and alcohol
- Keeping hydrated with plenty of water
- For people with frequent flares, there are some medications such as allopurinol or probenecid that can be taken regularly to help prevent the flares. Talk to your primary care doctor about whether these may be right for you.