Gout is a disorder characterized by abnormally high levels of uric acid within the body. This results in the formation of a compound called monosodium urate. The high levels in this compound itself does not cause any symptoms. Symptoms occur when this compound begins to crystallize in the tissues. More detail on how and why uric acids levels increase can be seen by clicking here.

This deposition of crystals can result in many symptoms, depending upon in which tissues deposition occurs. It usually occurs in the joints. Apart from the joints the kidneys and other tissues of the body can be involved. How the symptoms develop and present can be seen at the symptoms page.

Illustration of gout in great toe joint

This disease is more common in elderly men. 80% of patients are men. In women it is usually seen after the age of 45years.

Diagnosis is confirmed by

  • clinical manifestations
  • presence of typical crystals in the joint fluid
How the diagnosis of this disease is made and what investigations are done can be seen at the diagnosis page.

Treatment of this disease depends on the clinical picture that can be acute or chronic. Acute disease requires medical treatment to reduce pain and swelling. Drugs given in the acute stage include steroids, painkillers and colchicine. Definitive treatment is by lowering the level of uric acid in the blood by using the following drugs.

  • Probenecid
  • Allopurinol

More on treatment including medications, their effects and side effects, precautions and other prevention tips at the treatment page.

This page was updated on 25th May 2011

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