Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Table of Contents
- Gout (gouty arthritis) 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 providers diagnose gout?
- When should gout be treated?
- What are treatments and home remedies for gout?
- Do gout medications have any side effects?
- What foods should people with gout eliminate from their diet?
- 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 types of doctors treat gout?
Rheumatologists traditionally have expertise in diagnosing and treating gout, especially complicated situations. Other specialists such as internists, general practitioners, family medicine doctors, and orthopedists can manage straightforward cases of gout. Nephrologists may treat patients with uric-acid-lowering medications such as allopurinol in order to prevent damage to the kidneys, which can occur with elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia).
How do health care providers diagnose gout?
The most reliable method to diagnose gout is by demonstrating uric acid crystals in joint fluid that has been removed from an inflamed joint (arthrocentesis). Specially trained physicians, such as a rheumatologist or orthopedist, can carefully remove fluid from the joint. The fluid is then examined under a microscope to determine if uric acid crystals are present. This is important because other medical conditions and diseases, such as pseudogout (a type of arthritis caused by the deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals) and infection, can have symptoms similar to gout.