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
What complications are associated with gout?
Longstanding untreated gout can cause irreversible joint damage.
Uric acid can deposit in the kidneys and cause kidney stones and decreased kidney function.
Uric acid can deposit in the soft tissues, especially around joints, and cause nodules known as tophi, which can be large and unsightly.
What is the prognosis of gout?
Gout is a chronic condition. Left untreated, patients may suffer from recurrent painful and disabling gout attacks. Joint damage and other complications of gout may occur. However, excellent treatments for gout are available, and most patients respond very well to gout treatment with a good prognosis.
Is it possible to prevent gout?
Some of the risk factors for gout are genetic, and those are not preventable. But many of the risk factors for gout are not genetic, such as obesity and diet. Some people may be able to prevent gout by maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet low in refined carbohydrates and low in saturated fat and red meat.
What research is being done on gout?
Research is being done on using medications that block a chemical signal known as interleukin-1 to treat gout flares in patients who do not respond to other therapies. Anakinra (Kineret) and canakinumab are two medications that block interleukin-1. They are currently used for other conditions and are under investigation for use in gout flare-ups.
There is ongoing research in using a specialized CT scan known as a dual energy CT scan to diagnose gout. There is also a great deal of research ongoing that is investigating the various transporter genes for uric acid in the kidneys that are responsible for uric acid metabolism.
Firestein, G.S., et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier, 2008.
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