Gout

Alternative Names

Gouty arthritis – acute; Gout – acute; Hyperuricemia; Tophaceous gout; Tophi; Podagra; Gout – chronic; Chronic gout; Acute gout; Acute gouty arthritis

Definition of Gout

Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in the joints.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Gout is caused by having higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in your body. Your body may make too much uric acid, or have a hard time getting rid of uric acid. If too much uric acid builds up in the fluid around the joints (synovial fluid), uric acid crystals form. These crystals cause the joint to swell up and become inflamed.

Symptoms

Symptoms of acute gouty attacks:

Signs and tests

Tests that may be done include:

Treatment

Treatments for a sudden attack or flare-up of gout:

Expectations (prognosis)

Proper treatment of acute attacks allows people to live a normal life. However, the acute form of the disease may progress to chronic gout.

Review

Mark James Borigini, MD, Rheumatologist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/17/2009

Uric acid crystals

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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