GOUT FAST FACT
40 percent of Americans don’t know that gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis.
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What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis. Symptoms of gout are characterized by:
- Sudden and severe episodes of pain
- Stiffness and swelling of affected joints
It is so painful that some patients report that gout is as severe as a fracture of a long bone. It can be so agonizing that it may require a trip to the emergency room for relief.
One of the oldest diseases known, gout isn’t simply caused by overindulgence in rich foods or alcohol, as some may mistakenly believe. Genetics can play a role. So can other risk factors for gout including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
Men generally experience their first gout attack between the ages of 40 and 55. Gout is less common in women, almost always affecting them after menopause.
The first attack is usually not the last.
- Approximately 60 percent of gout patients will experience a second attack within one year.
- 78 percent of patients will have another attack within the next two years.
While it may take months – or even years – for another attack to strike, when it does it can be more severe, return more frequently and last longer.
The good news is that gout symptoms are manageable by working closely with your physician and with a basic understanding of what causes and what successfully treats gout. And, through proper monitoring and treatment, it’s possible to avoid painful episodes and long-term joint damage.
In fact, with adjustments to diet and lifestyle combined with medication, gout often can be completely controlled.