Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Gout Overview

What is gout?
A person with gout has episodes of swollen, painful joints in the feet and legs. Gout is caused by a buildup uric acid in the bloodstream. This leads to the formation of crystals in the synovial fluid, which normally lubricates the joints. The crystals cause inflammation inside the joint. Gout is a common form of arthritis. About 1 out of 100 people in the US have gout.

What are the symptoms of gout?
Symptoms of gout include the rapid onset of severe joint pain. This often occurs in the big toe joint or the ankle, knee, wrist, or elbow. The inflamed joint is usually red, swollen, and tender.

How does the doctor treat gout?
There is no cure for gout, but it can be controlled with medication. Treatment for gout may include a low protein diet and a variety of medications to reduce inflammation or lower uric acid levels in the bloodstream. Options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, colchicine, oral corticosteroids, and allopurinol. Some may be candidates for surgical repair of a joint damaged by the long-term effects of gout.

Continue to Gout Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Gout References
  1. Kim KY, Ralph Schumacher H, Hunsche E, Wertheimer AI, Kong SX. A literature review of the epidemiology and treatment of acute gout. Clin Ther. 2003 Jun;25(6):1593-617. [12860487]
  2. Monu JU, Pope TL Jr. Gout: a clinical and radiologic review. Radiol Clin North Am. 2004 Jan;42(1):169-84. [15049530]
  3. Pal B, Foxall M, Dysart T, Carey F, Whittaker M. How is gout managed in primary care? A review of current practice and proposed guidelines. Clin Rheumatol. 2000;19(1):21-5. [10752494]
  4. Schlesinger N. Diagnosis of gout. Minerva Med. 2007 Dec;98(6):759-67. [18299687]
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