The symptoms of a gout attack usually go away within a few days, but that doesn't mean the gout has gone away. Even if you don't feel symptoms, urate crystals in your body can cause long-term health problems, such as joint and kidney damage. After a first gout outbreak, 75 percent of people will have a second within a year; but some people may go years before another attack, says Dr. The intermediate stage is “when a person has already had a gout outbreak but doesn't currently have any joint pain or swelling,” he says.
Gout is actually a form of arthritis. It is the body's reaction to irritating crystal deposits in the joints. The pain can be severe, but treatment usually works very well. Mild cases can only be controlled with diet.
Gout attacks that come back may require long-term medications to prevent bone and cartilage damage and wear and tear on the kidneys. Gout can be extremely painful and disabling, but it is extremely treatable in almost all patients. It is important to identify and treat it in time to avoid pain and complications. Gout is a major foot problem, but it can also affect many other joints.
Since gout attacks are usually quite painful and often make walking difficult, most patients with gout will request specific treatment for their painful condition. The big toe is a known site of gout attacks, but gout can affect many different joints throughout the body. While rheumatologists like me specialize in the advanced treatment of gout, primary care providers can help you prevent or control gout. Over time, gout can start to affect more joints throughout the body and cause problems such as gout, tophus and permanent bone damage.
If you have more than one gout outbreak per year, it's very important that you take a gout medication regularly, says Dr. A key differentiator between gout and other types of arthritis is that gout attacks occur abruptly, often within a day, without warning. However, the progression of gout is certainly not inevitable, which is close to the best news any patient with gout can hear. A set of criteria have been established to help make the diagnosis of gout in this setting (see Table 1: Diagnosing gout when crystal identification is not possible).
While alcohol can cause gout attacks, genetics are much more important than alcohol in defining who gets it, and many people who never drink alcohol suffer from gout. It is also important that patients with gout be carefully counseled to report any changes in the frequency of gout attacks to their doctor. Most people with gout will eventually need to have a ULT, so you may want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment with your doctor as soon as you have been diagnosed with gout. Medications to lower uric acid levels, known as urate reducing therapy (ULT), are generally recommended if you have recurrent attacks of gout or if you have complications from gout.
However, no matter how important diet is in gout, for most people with gout, diet, and even weight loss, are not enough, and medications will be needed to reach their uric acid goal. Non-pharmacological treatments for gout are important, such as staying away from the foot when it is inflamed and following a diet both to reduce purine intake and to lose weight when indicated. While eating foods that are high in purines can contribute to high levels of uric acid, many experts believe that the role of diet in the development of gout is overemphasized. .