Gout is a condition that affects the joints, soft tissues and kidneys. Small crystals are deposited in and around the joints, and they can cause pain and inflammation. The crystals are made up of uric acid, which is a normal waste product of the body. Extra uric acid normally gets processed by the kidneys and leaves the body via urine. In people with gout, this doesn’t happen quickly enough, and the uric acid builds up.
The pain and symptoms of gout tend to come on quickly, and when this happens, it is often referred to as an “attack” of gout. An attack may occur in just one joint, or a few joints including feet, hands, elbows, knees and ankles. Symptoms you may notice during an attack are:
Attacks can last for one to two weeks at a time. If gout is not managed well, attacks can become more frequent and severe, and you may experience constant pain and permanent joint damage.
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Firstly, make sure you have an accurate diagnosis. It is best to visit your general practitioner (doctor) first, to get appropriate tests and to come up with a treatment plan.
The best approach to treatment is a team approach.
You are the most important member of your healthcare team. Your team may also involve:
At Arthritis Queensland, we provide a range of services that support you to manage your gout:
Your gift will help fund self-management courses, education seminars and will provide individual support for people living with arthritis.