get info about gout
Here's the bottom line about gout —
the who, what, where and why.
- Gout is a painful and sometimes debilitating form of inflammatory arthritis.
- Gout is caused by a high level of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is naturally created when the body breaks down a class of substances called purines. These are molecules within foods and beverages that are essential in the functioning of living cells. During metabolism, purines are broken down to eventually form uric acid. Normally, uric acid is dissolved and eliminated. However, when this level becomes too high for the body to handle or process, it can build up and crystallize in and around joints.
- If you have gout, you may have painful flares that include sudden inflammation, redness and swelling in the joints. These flares are common in the big toe, but can happen in all of the joints in your body, including the feet, knees, ankles, fingers, wrists and elbows. With gout, deposits of uric acid crystals — called tophi — may form under the skin in the joints and surrounding tissue, which can limit everyday movement.
- It is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a gout attack, especially because these symptoms can be similar to those of a stubbed toe or ankle sprain. Many people often misinterpret the pain associated with gout for something else, such as an impact-induced injury or a
- Approximately eight million people in the U.S. live with gout, so if you have gout, you are certainly not alone. It is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over the age of 40. In the past few decades the number of people who have been diagnosed with gout has significantly increased.
- Women can also have or develop gout, especially after menopause. In the rare cases where women develop gout before menopause, it often tends to be refractory to standard treatment options.
- There's also a more severe form of gout called refractory chronic gout, or RCG. Click here to learn more.