What is Gout?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition in which acute crises of pain, inflammation, redness, and heat suddenly appear in the joints, usually in the toes, although it can affect other areas and various joints.

Anyone can suffer from it, although it is more common in men, since their uric acid levels are higher than those of women, with the accumulation of urate crystals causing the characteristic joint pain and inflammation of gout.

Having high levels of uric acid in the blood causes the formation of urate crystals, which, when accumulated in the joints, produce gouty pain and inflammation.

Uric acid is created by your body as a reaction to the decomposition of purines, natural substances in the body that are also found in some foods such as meat, fish, wine, and beer, among others; causing an excess of these substances that the kidneys are not able to process, leading to the formation of sharp crystals that, when accumulated in the joints, cause a gout attack.

It is a chronic disease that can be controlled by reducing symptoms and preventing attacks.

Signs and symptoms Gout

The symptoms appear suddenly without warning and can even occur while you sleep:

  • Acute pain.
  • Inflammation.
  • Redness.
  • Limited joint movement.
  • Extreme heat in the affected area.
  • Hypersensitivity.

See your doctor when you have a fever or the inflammation and pain are excessive to avoid further complications or joint damage.

  • Family history.
  • Being male and over 25 years old
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Diseases: some conditions increase your chances of suffering from gout, such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney, and heart failure.
  • Diet: uric acid will increase if you consume too much meat, alcoholic beverages, fish, and shellfish.
  • Some drugs: diuretics, beta-blockers, and aspirin are some of the drugs that raise the uric acid level.

Untreated gout can trigger complications such as joint damage or destruction, the formation of tophi or nodules, which are crystal deposits that cause malformations; or the appearance of kidney stones.

Diagnosis and treatment Gout

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination that includes a detailed observation of the affected area, and will probably request additional studies that help confirm the diagnosis, such as blood or synovial fluid tests to measure uric acid levels, X-rays, ultrasound, or CT scan of damaged joints.

The treatment has two aspects: the first focuses on relieving the symptoms of a gouty crisis, while the second is aimed at preventing it by reducing the amount of uric acid in the blood.

Drugs used to relieve symptoms:

  • Anti-inflammatories.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Colchicine.

Drugs to prevent gout attacks:

  • Uric acid blockers.
  • Uric acid elimination facilitators.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Vargas AG. Ácido úrico y Síndrome metabólico: “causa o efecto”. Arch Med Fam. 2017;19(4):155-169.

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