Effects of Gout – Uric Acid Crystals, Gout Attacks and Chronic Gout

Effects of Gout – Uric Acid Crystals, Gout Attacks and Chronic Gout
High Uric Acid Level
During a gout attack--your healthcare professional may refer to this as "acute gout"--excess uric acid begins to form crystals, causing inflammation in your joints that leads to the swelling and pain of a gout flare. These gout flares usually strike suddenly, at night, and without any warning. During the attack, the area becomes hot, red, swollen, and extremely tender. People describe gout in many painful ways--they say it's like a blow torch, a jackhammer, or walking barefoot on a bed of hot coals. And, unfortunately, once you have one gout attack, you're likely to have another.

For most people with gout--78% in fact--a second gout attack occurs within 6 months to 2 years of their first attack. Later attacks are more likely to involve more than one joint at a time. Attacks initially begin with less severity, eventually becoming more severe, lasting longer, with recovery taking longer than during initial gout attacks. And, gout attacks can become more common.

Talk to your healthcare professional if you're suffering from gout flares as he/she may prescribe medications or recommend over-the-counter treatments to address the pain and inflammation of your gout attacks. It's important to remember, though, that treating pain and inflammation doesn't address the underlying cause of gout, high uric acid. To help manage your gout over the long term, it is important to keep your uric acid level below 6 mg/dL. So, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss ways you may be able to achieve and maintain lower, healthy uric acid levels. To get the most from your appointment, use our Gout Conversation Card.

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