Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Table of Contents
- Gout facts
- What is gout?
- What causes gout?
- What are risk factors for gout?
- What are gout symptoms and signs?
- What types of doctors treat gout?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose gout?
- When should gout be treated?
- Are there treatments and home remedies for gout?
- Do gout medications have any side effects?
- What foods should people with gout avoid?
- What complications are associated with gout?
- What is the prognosis of gout?
- Is it possible to prevent gout?
- What research is being done on gout?
What is gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden joint inflammation, usually in a single joint. Severe gout can sometimes affect many joints at once. This is known as polyarticular gout.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by an elevated uric acid level in the bloodstream and accumulation of uric acid crystals in tissues of the body. Uric acid crystal deposits in the joint cause inflammation of the joint leading to pain, redness, heat, and swelling. Uric acid is normally found in the body as a byproduct of the way the body breaks down certain proteins called purines. Causes of an elevated blood uric acid level (hyperuricemia) include genetics, obesity, certain medications such as diuretics (water pills), and chronic decreased kidney function.