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Disease: Gout Gout
Category: Endocrine and metabolic diseases
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Disease Definition:

Gout, also known as gouty arthritis, is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints. If someone has gout, their big toe may feel hot, swollen and so tender that even the slightest weight on it may seem intolerable.


Gout is a complex disorder that can affect anyone. Although women become increasingly susceptible to it after menopause, but in general, men are more likely to get gout than women. Gout is a treatable condition. Additionally, there are treatments that could reduce the chances of gout's recurrence.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


Mostly, the signs and symptoms of gout are acute, they occur suddenly and without warning, usually at night.
The signs and symptoms of gout may include:


Inflammation and redness:

The affected joints will become swollen, tender and red.


Intense joint pain:

Even though gout could occur in feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists, but it usually affects the large joint of the bid toe. When gout is left untreated, the pain will last five to ten days, and then stop. Gradually, over one to two weeks, the discomfort will also subside, and the joint will be left apparently normal and pain-free.


When urate crystals accumulate around a person’s joint causing inflammation and intense pain, gout occurs. In case someone has high levels of uric acid in their blood, urate crystals form. Uric acid is produced by the body when it breaks down purines, which are substances that are found naturally in the body, in addition to certain foods, including asparagus, anchovies, mushrooms, organ meats and herring.


Uric acid typically dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys into the urine. However, in some cases, the body either produces too much uric acid, or the kidneys excrete too little uric acid causing the acid to build up and form sharp, needle-like urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue and cause pain, swelling and inflammation.



Some of the more severe conditions that could be caused by gout include:


Kidney stones:

When urate crystals collect in the urinary tract of people with gout, it causes kidney stones. In order to help reduce the risk of kidney stones, medications could be taken.


Recurrent gout:

Although some people may not experience the signs and symptoms of gout ever again, however, others may experience them several times each year. In people with recurrent gout, medications could help prevent the attacks.


Advanced gout:

When gout is left untreated, it could cause deposits of urate crystals to form under the skin in nodules called tophi. Although tophi could become swollen and tender during gout attacks, but they're usually not painful.


Gout is usually treated with medications. The patient’s current health and their own preferences will determine the specific medications, which include:



Inflammation and pain could be controlled in people who have gout with these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs carry risks of stomach pain, bleeding and ulcers. They include some over the counter options, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, in addition to more powerful prescription ones.



Gout inflammation and pain could be controlled with steroid medications, such as prednisone. Thinning bones, poor wound healing and a decreased ability to fight infection are some of the side effects of these medications. Steroids could be either administered in pill form or injected into the joint. Usually, people who can't take either NSAIDs or colchicine turn to steroids.



Someone may be recommended colchicines in case they can't take NSAIDs. Even though colchicine controls gout effectively, however, it could cause some uncomfortable side effects, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.


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