House Call: Gout – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
Gout is a chronic, progressive disease that affects 8.3 million people in the United States. It is a form of arthritis caused by abnormal build-up of uric acid, which causes inflammation in the joints.
Gout tends to be more common in males, as the female hormone, estrogen, acts as a protective agent against the disease.
If left untreated, gout can cause limited range of motion, as well as permanent joint damage and/or destruction.
Classic symptoms of gout include extreme pain, redness and swelling in the joint. People are usually first diagnosed after an acute onset of the disease, which usually involves a sudden onset of severe pain in the joint(s) that can last four to five days.
Certain factors may put individuals at higher risk for developing gout, such as use of diuretics, being overweight, or high intake of red meat, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol (especially beer) and shellfish.
Fortunately, gout can be well-controlled, and many individuals can live symptom-free with the proper treatment. Treatment for gout focuses on lowering the amount of uric acid in the body through a combination of lifestyle modifications and medication management.
If you are experiencing symptoms of gout, it is important to discuss the condition with your doctor to receive proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Cone Health Network has an exceptional team of rheumatologists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to providing individualized care for patients with gout throughout the community.
Dr. Shaili Deveshwar is a rheumatologist at The Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics Center, and a member of Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Deveshwar is a 1986 graduate of LLRM Medical College. She completed her residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in rheumatology at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.