Gout: Introduction FeedbackA general introduction to Gout.Source: NHS Choices, 20 Mar 2012
Gout is a type of arthritis, in which crystals of sodium urate produced by the body can form inside joints.
The most common symptom is sudden and severe pain in the joint, along with swelling and redness. The joint of the big toe is usually affected, but it can develop in any joint.
Symptoms can develop rapidly to their worst point in 6-24 hours and usually last for 3-10 days (this is sometimes known as a gout attack). After this time, the joint will start to feel normal again and any pain or discomfort should eventually disappear completely.
Most people with gout will have further attacks in the future.
Read more about the symptoms of gout.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product made in the body every day and excreted mainly via the kidneys. It forms when the body breaks down chemicals in the cells known as purines.
If you produce too much uric acid or excrete too little when you urinate, the uric acid builds up and may cause tiny crystals to form in and around joints.
These hard, needle-shaped crystals build up slowly over several years. You will not know this is happening.
The crystals may cause two problems:
- Some may spill over into the soft lining of the joint (synovium), which causes the pain and inflammation associated with gout.
- Some pack together to form hard, slowly expanding lumps of crystals (“tophi”) which can cause progressive damage to the joint and nearby bone; this eventually leads to irreversible joint damage which causes pain and stiffness when the joint is being used.
Factors which increase your risk of gout include:
- age and gender: gout is more common when you get older and is three-to-four times more likely in men
- being overweight or obese
- having high blood pressure or diabetes
- having close relatives with gout (gout often runs in families)
- having long-term kidney problems that reduce the elimination of uric acid
- a diet rich in purines; such as frequently eating sardines and liver
- drinking too much beer or spirits – these types of alcoholic drinks contain relatively high levels of purines
Read more about the possible causes of, and risk factors for, gout.
There are two main goals in treating gout:
- relieving symptoms during an attack of gout: using the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) types of painkillers; in some cases alternative medications may also be required
- preventing future gout attacks: through a combination of lifestyle changes (such as losing weight if you are overweight) and taking a medication called allopurinol to lower levels of uric acid
When medication is taken as directed with recommended lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet and drinking less alcohol, many people reduce their uric acid levels sufficiently over time and dissolve the crystals that cause gout.
Read more about treating gout.
Who is affected
Gout is more common in men than in women. This is mainly because the female hormone oestrogen that is released during the female reproductive cycle reduces a woman's levels of uric acid by increasing excretion of uric acid via the kidneys.
After the menopause, uric acid levels rise in women and they too can become liable to getting gout.
It is estimated that, overall, 1 in 70 of UK adults have gout.
However, because the incidence of gout increases with age, it affects 1 in 14 older men and 1 in 35 older women.
Gout symptoms usually occur after the age of 30 in men, and after 60 in women.
Complications of gout are uncommon but can include:
- kidney stones – high levels of uric acid can also lead to stones (uric acid and calcium stones) developing inside the kidneys
- “tophus” formation – tophi are small-to-large firm lumps sometimes visible and easily felt under the skin
- permanent joint damage – caused by ongoing joint inflammation between the acute attacks, and by formation of tophi within the joint that damage cartilage and bone; this is usually only a risk if gout is left untreated for many years
Read more about the complications of gout.
Gout: Guidance FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Gout from producers of guidance information.
Information for the public
Gout: Information for the public FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Gout, from Department of Health accredited producers of patient information.
- Bupa , 14 November 2013
TA291 Gout (tophaceous, severe debilitating, chronic) - pegloticase: information for the public [PDF]National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 26 June 2013
- NHS Choices, 20 March 2012
- Patient UK
- Patient UK
- NHS Choices, 09 May 2013
- NHS Choices, 08 May 2013
Gout: Ongoing Research FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Gout, from research trials.
Gout: Evidence Uncertainty FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Gout, highlighting areas where further research is needed.
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 03 June 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 02 May 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 16 November 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 02 May 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 06 June 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 20 November 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 20 July 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 13 July 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 24 September 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 23 August 2012
Gout: Medicines FeedbackAppropriate medicines information for Gout supplied by Datapharm, a leading source of trusted, credible information about medicines.
Gout - Medicines Information
- Adenuric (a brand of Febuxostat)
- Diclofenac potassium
- Diclofenac sodium
- Dicloflex (a brand of Diclofenac Sodium)
- Diclomax (a brand of Diclofenac Sodium)
- Econac (a brand of Diclofenac Sodium)
- Etoricoxib (a generic version of Arcoxia)
- Ketocid (a brand of Ketoprofen)
- Ketovail (a brand of Ketoprofen)
- Motifene (a brand of Diclofenac Sodium)
- Orudis (a brand of Ketoprofen)
- Oruvail (a brand of Ketoprofen)
- Voltarol (a brand of Diclofenac Sodium)
- Voltarol Dispersible (a brand of Diclofenac Sodium)
- Voltarol Rapid (a brand of Diclofenac Potassium)
- Zyloric (a brand of Allopurinol)
- Results are currently sorted by relevance (Sort results by: date)
- Results 1 - 10 (of 130)
...severe debilitating chronic tophaceous gout Issued: June 2013 NICE technology...severe debilitating chronic tophaceous gout NICE technology appraisal guidance 291...severe debilitating chronic tophaceous gout in adults who may also have erosive joint...
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 26 June 2013 - Publisher: NICE - Publication type: Full Guidance
...content Lifestyle interventions for acute gout John HY Moi 1,* , Melonie K Sriranganathan...Buchbinder R. Lifestyle interventions for acute gout. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews...comparison. Lifestyle interventions for acute gout Lifestyle interventions for acute gout...
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 04 November 2013 - Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
... Lifestyle interventions for chronic gout John HY Moi 1,* , Melonie K Sriranganathan...R. Lifestyle interventions for chronic gout. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews...skim milk and lactose powder for chronic gout Skim milk enriched with GMP/G600 compared...
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 31 May 2013 - Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
...screening following consultation for acute gout in primary care Edward Roddy 1 , 2...patients, following consultation for acute gout in primary care. Methods. This study...identified at 10 participating practices from gout-related Read morbidity codes. Lipid...
10 February 2010 - Publisher: Rheumatology - Publication type: Medicines Management
...bone. Crystal deposition — principally gout or, rarely, pseudogout. Systemic disease...on Baker's cyst, Cellulitis - acute, Gout, Greater trochanteric pain syndrome... Crystal deposition — principally gout or, rarely, pseudogout [Wasserman et...
Clinical Knowledge Summaries, 01 November 2010
...Managing any associated conditions, such as gout, cellulitis, or rheumatoid arthritis...sites. There are separate CKS topics on Gout, Greater trochanteric pain syndrome... Systemic conditions — most commonly gout or rheumatoid arthritis (intra-bursal...
Clinical Knowledge Summaries, 11 October 2010
...disease, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, gout, and renal impairment. Scenario...Atrial fibrillation . Diabetes . Gout . Renal impairment . Basis for recommendation...chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Gout. Valve disease. Basis for recommendation...
Clinical Knowledge Summaries, 29 November 2010
...Necrotizing fasciitis. Gangrene. Acute gout. Adverse drug reactions. Metastatic...topic on Deep vein thrombosis. Acute gout — swelling, redness, warmth, and pain...skin around the joint may be inflamed (gout cellulitis). For more information see...
Clinical Knowledge Summaries, 01 September 2012
...Diuretics are best avoided in people with gout — they can cause hyperuricaemia (increased serum uric acid levels) and gout. If a thiazide-type diuretic is necessary...with allopurinol. See the CKS topic on Gout. Thiazide-type diuretics should...
Clinical Knowledge Summaries, 01 April 2012
...suitable for people with aspirin allergy, renal insufficiency, gout, or who are taking an anticoagulant such as warfarin, as well...suitable for people with aspirin allergy, renal insufficiency, gout, or those taking anticoagulants [Hill and Ryan, 2008; CDC...
Clinical Knowledge Summaries, 01 May 2013
Searches related to “Gout”
- Clear all filters
Select one of the 'BNF/BNFc section' options below to narrow your search
- Areas of interest
Types of information
Select one or more of the 'type of information' options below to narrow your search
Start typing a Source name to narrow your search, or select one or more from the A-Z list
- British National Formulary - BNF (1)
- Clinical Knowledge Summaries - CKS (9)
- Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials(1)
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (9)
- Diabetes UK(1)
- electronic Medicines Compendium - eMC (69)
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE (3)
- NIHR Journals Library - Health Technology Assessment(1)
- Patient UK(4)
Medicines and devices
Start typing a Medicine or device name to narrow your search, or select one or more from the A-Z list
- Certolizumab pegol(11)
- Diclofenac potassium(17)
- Diclofenac sodium(56)
- Fusidic acid(14)
- Interferon alfa-2b(10)
- Irbesartan + hydrochlorothiazide(7)
- Losartan + hydrochlorothiazide(12)
- Mefenamic acid(21)
- Methylprednisolone acetate(10)
- Mycophenolate mofetil(26)
- Mycophenolic acid(13)
- Parathyroid hormone(8)
- Peginterferon alfa-2b(12)
- Propylene glycol(10)
- Salicylic acid(9)
- Sodium chloride(11)
- Strontium ranelate(8)
- Tiaprofenic acid(10)
- Triamcinolone acetonide(15)
- Valsartan + hydrochlorothiazide(10)