Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It can develop if there's too much uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is a chemical produced by your body, but usually it's flushed away in your urine. If it builds up in your blood, it causes crystals to form around your joints. Crystals build up slowly, but if they work loose into the space inside your joint (synovial cavity), they can trigger an acute attack of inflammation.
Treatment for gout includes:
If not treated, gout can lead to joint damage and chronic arthritis.
Most people only find out they have gout when they have their first acute attack. Gout symptoms may come on quickly, often at night, and cause extreme joint pain, and swelling and heat in a joint. Gout symptoms most often affect joints in your limbs, such as your:
The skin over your joint may be red and shiny, or peel.
You should see your GP if you have any of these symptoms.
Your GP will assess your symptoms and they:
If your GP thinks you have gout, they may refer you to a rheumatologist (specialist in arthritis and joints).
These factors may increase the risk of developing gout:
Treatments to soothe a flare-up may include:
Lifestyle changes that can help prevent further attacks include: