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Gout is a syndrome resulting from the deposition in and around joints of crystals composed of a substance called uric acid (monosodium urate crystals). Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism of a food component called purine. Increased levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) is a result of either over-production or under-excretion of the substance.
Acute gout typically presents with pain, swelling, warmth and redness in a joint. Usually the first attack affects only one joint. Commonly affected is the large joint at the base of the big toe (podagra). Other joints commonly involved are the ankle, knee, instep or forefoot, wrist and fingers, elbows, and even the spine.
Acute attacks commonly start during the night and usually peak within one to two days of symptoms onset. Untreated attacks may last seven to 10 days.
Treatment goals include termination of the acute attack, prevention of recurrent attacks and prevention of complications (especially kidney disease) associated with the deposition of urate crystals in tissues. Treatment of associated features such as obesity, alcohol use, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol levels also figures prominently in the overall plan.
Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide
The Medifocus Guide on Gout provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
- What are the most common symptoms of gout?
- Are there any recognized risk factors for developing gout?
- What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of gout?
- What is the current standard of care for the treatment of gout?
- What treatment options are available for the management of gout?
- Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
- Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in gout?
- Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for gout?
- What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about gout?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
- Clinical manifestations of gout and their management.
Medical Journal of Australia. 2000
- Gout update: from lab to the clinic and back.
Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2000
- Renal transplant-associated hyperuricemia and gout.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2000
- How well have diagnostic tests and therapies for gout been evaluated?.
Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 1999
- Kienbock's disease and gout.
Journal of Hand Surgery - British Volume. 1999
- Diagnosis and management of gout.
American Family Physician. 1999
- Gout and hyperuricemia.
American Family Physician. 1999
- Reappraisal of the pathogenesis and consequences of hyperuricemia in hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease.
American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 1999
- Care of the patient with gout.
Geriatric Nursing. 1999
- Finger pad tophi.
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