Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis which causes episodes of sudden onset of pain and swelling in a joint.  This is caused by raised uric acid levels in the blood or the kidneys not filtering it properly. This results in small crystals being deposited in the joints.

Gout can affect any joint but it is more common in the toes, ankles, knees and fingers. Gout is more common in males over the age of 30 and females post menopause.

It can be associated with lifestyle factors such as raised alcohol intake (beer & spirits), high meat or seafood intake, raised blood pressure, obesity and raised cholesterol. It can also occur if you have kidney problems or if a close relative also has gout.

Symptoms

  • sudden onset of severe pain in 1 or more joints
  • red, hot swollen joint
  • The skin may be red & shiny over the affected joint.

Management

  • see your GP if you have never been diagnosed with Gout.
  • If you feel unwell or have a fever it could be a sign of a joint infection which requires urgent medical attention – See your GP, A&E or local walk in centre.
  • See your GP if you have been diagnosed with gout but symptoms are not improving after using your medication for a few days. Poorly controlled gout is thought to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lifestyle management:  – reducing alcohol, changing diet ,exercise, weight loss and medications if prescribed.

Useful Links

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Gout/Pages/Introduction.aspx – detailed information about
gout.