What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the body. It can affect one or more joints but is most commonly found in the big toe.
What are the symptoms?
- Pain in one or more joints
- Joint swelling
- Redness over joint
- Warmth over joint
- Joint stiffness
- Tophi (deposits of uric acid)
How is it treated?
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to treat an acute attack of gout including:
- Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
What causes Gout?
Gout is caused by the buildup of too much uric acid in the body. Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine. However, there are several factors that can cause uric acid buildup:
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Dietary factors
- Excessive alcohol intake
Who can get Gout?
You are more likely to have gout if you:
- Have a family history
- Are a man
- Are overweight
- Drink too much alcohol
- Eat too many purine rich foods
- Take certain medications such as diuretics, aspirin, cyclosporine, niacin or levodopa
How is Gout prevented?
There are several ways to help prevent gout. These include:
- Sufficient fluid intake
- Take preventive medications as directed
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
- Avoid fruit juices and sugared soft drinks
- Avoid fried foods and fatty foods and sauces
- Avoid or limit foods high in purines:
- Organ meats (liver)