Gout: two-thirds of Australians don’t have ideal control
Two-thirds of Australians with gout have uric acid concentrations above the recommended levels and may not be being treated adequately, according to a recent study.
Gout is a type of painful arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the blood. The uric acid deposits as sharp crystals in the joints, causing pain and swelling.
Seeing your doctor and getting your uric acid levels under control are important if you have gout, not just to prevent further attacks but to gradually dissolve away any tophi – the deposits of uric acid crystals that cause the pain.
The Australian study of 3 general practices showed that two-thirds of gout patients had uric acid levels (measured as urate) above the recommended level when they had a blood test.
High urate/uric acid levels can come from eating foods high in purines, excessive alcohol consumption, some medical conditions such as kidney disease, not being prescribed an adequate dose of anti-gout medicines or from taking other medicines that raise uric acid levels, such as diuretics.
Gout is an increasing problem in Australia with more than 1 in 20 men over 65 affected and nearly one in 50 of the general population.
The main goal of gout treatment is to lower the levels of uric acid to limit painful flare ups in joints, long term damage to joints and damage to the kidneys. This is done with medication and may be helped by following a gout diet.
Gout can cause significant pain, so make sure your uric acid levels are within the limits if you have gout.
Last Reviewed: 10/02/2017
Jeyaruban A, Soden M, Larkins S. Prevalence of comorbidities and management of gout in a tropical city in Australia. Rheumatology International 2016: 1-6.
Gout is an inflammatory arthritis, where uric acid crystals settle in a joint causing severe pain, swelling and redness.
Gout is an acutely painful condition that usually affects the big toe. It occurs when uric acid crystals form in certain joints, leading to inflammation, pain and swelling. Medications and changes in behaviour can reduce the likelihood of future gout episodes.
Help reduce gout attacks by changing your diet - find out which foods to avoid to reduce purines in your diet. Reducing your intake of purine-rich foods should reduce gout symptoms.
Find out about the different types of arthritis, including the most common types - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Kidney stones: find out the causes, symptoms (including renal colic), tests and treatments. Also, how to prevent kidney stones from recurring.