Diet (red meat, seafood), genetic factors, male gender, increased age ,overweight, menopause, alcohol, myeloproliferative malignancies, renal impairment, dehydration and medicines (diuretics, some hypertensive drugs and anti-neoplastic drugs) are mostly associated to gout.

The clinical progression of gout can be defined by four stages:

  • Asymptomatic hyperuricemia
  • Acute gout or gout flare: characterized by the deposition of crystals intra joint causing inflammation. It is associated to intense pain, redness, heat and swelling at the affected joint and surrounding tissues, such as big toe and elbow. Most frequently the attacks occur during the night waking up the patient. Different factors like food, stress, drugs and alcohol can trigger the attacks. Usually the symptoms disappear in 1–2 weeks. With the progression of the disease, the frequency of the episodes increases as the number of joints involved and the interval between every episodes is every time shorter.
  • Intercritical period: phase between two acute gout episodes without any signs or symptoms. It can be prolonged by avoiding the triggering factors.
  • Chronic gout: it occurs when none therapy has been established, usually after some years from the first acute episode. Its distinctive feature are the thopi, large visible bumps made of urate crystals. If not treated it can lead to joint deformity, osteoarthritis and bone loss, urate nephropathy and ocular complications. It is important to underline that chronic hyperuricemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Gout is a treatable disease. The purpose of the therapy is to promote the dissolution of the crystal deposits and getting the blood uric acid level under control in order to reduce the formation of new crystals. Dietary modifications, reduction of alcohol consumption and weight loss are key points for the correct management of gout. In case of acute attacks NSAIDs are usually effective. Your doctors may prescribe your different types of drugs to treat this condition.


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