Gout (Gouty Arthritis) (cont.)
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Gout facts
- What is gout?
- What causes gout?
- What are risk factors for gout?
- What are symptoms and signs of gout?
- How is gout diagnosed?
- When should gout be treated?
- What is the treatment 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?
- Take the Gout Quiz
- Gout Slideshow
- Slideshow: Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Gout FAQs
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
Do gout medications have any side effects?
Gout medications are well tolerated by most people, but like other medications, they have potential side effects. The most notable side effects of these medications are:
Allopurinol is well tolerated by most people, but in some people, it can cause an allergic rash. Very severe rashes rarely can occur after taking allopurinol, and any allergic type rashes that develop while a patient is taking allopurinol are taken seriously.
Colchicine (Colcrys) can cause nausea, diarrhea, and rarely muscle weakness and abnormal blood counts.
Probenecid is generally well tolerated but should not be used in patients who have uric acid kidney stones, as it can worsen the kidney stones and potentially harm the kidneys in these patients.
Febuxostat (Uloric) can cause liver abnormalities, nausea, and rash.
NSAIDs can cause irritation of the stomach and ulcers in some cases. The liver and the kidneys are periodically monitored in patients taking NSAIDs over the long term.
Krystexxa is administered as an intravenous infusion. Severe allergic reactions have been reported in a minority of people receiving Krystexxa.
What foods should people with gout avoid?
An excess of uric acid causes gout. Uric acid is formed when chemical products from food we eat, called purines, are broken down. Therefore there has been a great deal of interest in dietary management of gout by avoiding foods high in purines. However, a diet very low in purines is extremely difficult to follow, because purines are a natural part of many healthy foods. Even when a diet very low in purines is followed strictly, the uric acid level in the bloodstream is only slightly lowered. Therefore, a strict low purine diet is not recommended in the management of gout. However, diet is important in the management of gout. The following dietary principles are important in the management of gout: Gout is associated with obesity, and significant weight loss can dramatically improve the management of gout. A diet low in saturated fat, with increased protein and replacement of refined carbohydrates (for example, sugar, white bread, potatoes) with complex carbohydrates (such as vegetables and whole grains) reduces the serum uric acid. A calorie-reduced diet incorporating these principles is also helpful for weight loss. The risk of gout increases with the consumption of seafood and red meat. The consumption of low-fat dairy products decreases the risk of gout. Drinking beer and liquor increase the risk of gout. Drinking wine does not appear to increase the risk of gout. In one study, consumption of fresh cherries was associated with a 35% decreased risk of gout! Some people believe that black cherry juice or dried cherries have the same effect, but this has not been proven. Drinking beverages sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup increases the risk of gout.
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