What is gout?

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a high uric acid level in the body.  When these levels increase in your blood, uric acid can deposit in the joints and may form uric acid crystals. This can irritate the joints resulting in redness, swelling and joint pain.


  • Sudden onset of redness, pain and swelling in one or two joints
    • Often start at night and last for five to seven days
  • Usually involves the big toe, but can include other joints
  • Large uric acid deposits (tophi) may appear over elbows or other joints

Risk factors

  • Diet
  • Weight
  • Family history

Diagnosing gout

  • Complete medical history and physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Joint imaging (X-ray or MRI)
  • Fluid sample from the affected joint in some cases

Treating gout


  • Medications: Colchicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucocorticoids
  • Corticosteroid injection into the affected joint


  • Diet and life-style modifications
  • Medications: Allopurinol and febuxostat are commonly used in conjunction with colchicine or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications


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