font size

Gout (Gouty Arthritis) (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are risk factors for gout?

There are many risk factors for gout. Gout is more common after surgery, trauma, and dehydration. Certain medications such as diuretics (commonly known as water pills) that raise the level of uric acid in the bloodstream are risks for gout. Surprisingly, medications that lower the level of uric acid in the bloodstream, such as allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim), can also initially cause a flare of gout. This is because anything that raises or lowers the uric acid level can cause a gout flare by causing uric acid crystals to deposit in a joint. Low-dose aspirin may precipitate gout attacks. The treatment of certain types of cancer can cause gout because of high levels of uric acid released when cells are destroyed. Joints affected by degenerative arthritis are more likely to be the site of a gouty attack.

What are symptoms and signs of gout?

The characteristic symptoms and signs of gout are the sudden onset of pain, swelling, heat, and redness. This usually affects a single joint. The pain is typically severe, reflecting the severity of inflammation in the joint. The affected joint is often exquisitely sensitive to touch to the point that some patients experience pain from something as simple as pulling the bedsheets over the affected area at night.

Gout frequently affects joints in the lower extremities. The most typical location for gout to occur is the big toe. Podagra is the medical term for a gout attack in the big toe. Gout can also affect the foot, knee, ankle, elbow, wrist, hands, or nearly any joint in the body. When gout is more severe or longstanding, multiple joints may be affected at the same time.

Another sign of gout is the presence of tophi. A tophus is a hard nodule of uric acid that deposits under the skin. Tophi can be found in various locations in the body, commonly on the elbows, upper ear cartilage, and on the surface of other joints. When a tophus is present, it indicates that the body is very overloaded with uric acid. When tophi are present, the uric acid level in the bloodstream has been high for years. The presence of tophi indicates tophaceous gout, and treatment with medications is necessary.

Kidney stones may be a sign of gout as uric acid crystals can deposit in the kidney and cause kidney stones.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/3/2013

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Gout - Symptoms Question: What gout symptoms and signs have you experienced?
Gout - Treatment Question: What treatment has been effective for your gout?
Gout - Diet Question: Please share your experience with diet and nutrition.
Gout - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with gout.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/gout_gouty_arthritis/article.htm

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations