How Much Do You Really Know About Gout?
Put your gout knowledge to the test with this quick, 10-question quiz — and be sure to visit GoutEducation.org to learn more about gout and the steps you can take to manage symptoms and avoid painful attacks down the road.
1. Gout is a form of [blank]?A) Skin conditionB) Inflammatory arthritisC) SprainD) Diabetes
Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis – affecting more than 8.3 million Americans today. It is also usually regarded as the most painful, with most gout sufferers ranking their level of pain as a 9 or 10 on a standard pain scale.
Gout is 3-4 times more common than rheumatoid arthritis. (Prevalence of RA in U.S. adults is .8%-1.2%, and prevalence of gout is approximately 3.5%-4.5%.)
2. What are the classic symptoms of a gout attack?A) Moderate to severe chest painB) Mild pain or tingling in a jointC) Sudden onset of excruciating pain and swelling in a jointD) Fever and rapid weight gain
A gout attack is characterized by sudden and severe episodes of pain, warmth and swelling in a joint. The inflammation can be so severe that the affected joint cannot bear weight and is tender to even the lightest touch. The pain will typically stay in the area(s) for 3-10 days before subsiding. Without treatment, attacks are likely to occur again in the future.
To learn more about gout symptoms, click here.
3. How is a gout diagnosis confirmed?A) Extracting synovial fluid from the affected jointB) Blood testC) Ultrasounds, MRIs and CT ScansD) Physical examinationE) Both A and C
The gold standard of a correct diagnosis of gout is through the extraction of synovial fluid from the inflamed joint. Once the fluid is extracted, the medical professional will check it for the presence of uric acid crystals using a polarized microscope.
As technology has advanced, clinicians now believe that ultrasounds and related technology can help to detect the presence of tophi (crystals under the skin) in all stages of gout, helping to identify the disease early on.
While a blood test can be used to determine a patient’s uric acid level, it is not a conclusive diagnosis of gout. Similarly, the physical examination of a painful, swollen joint cannot distinguish gout from other conditions, such as infection, pseudogout and injury. Only an estimated 1 in 5 people with an elevated uric acid level about 7 mg/dL will ever experience the symptoms of gout.
4. True or False: Gout can be cured.A) TrueB) False
Unfortunately for most people, there is no cure for gout – however, the underlying cause of gout, elevated uric acid, can be controlled by taking the right medications, along with making lifestyle and dietary changes.
By taking these steps, the symptoms and destruction of gout can be reduced or even eliminated. However, even when symptoms are completely gone, most people with gout will need to stay on uric acid-lowering medication for the rest of their lives to prevent the disease from returning.
If you have gout, talk to your doctor to learn more about the steps you can take to better manage the disease for the long term.
5. Which of the following can contribute to an increased risk for gout?A) Hyperuricemia (elevated uric acid level above 6.8 mg/dL)B) A family history of goutC) Other health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney diseaseD) Eating foods that are high in fructoseE) All of the above
The more risk factors that a person has, the greater the risk for developing gout. Having one or more of the above risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop gout.
To learn more about the risk factors for developing gout, click here.
6. What percentage of gout sufferers are receiving needed, ongoing treatment?A) 10%B) 30%C) 50%D) 90%
More than 8.3 million Americans are suffering from gout, but only 10 percent are receiving adequate, ongoing therapy.
Gout is very serious and, once it is diagnosed, it needs to be managed for life through a combination of medications, diet and lifestyle changes. If not treated, gout can lead to permanent joint and tissue damage, including disfiguration of the joints – particularly in the hands and feet – and lead to loss of normal use.
If you or a loved one think you may be suffering from gout, talk to your medical professional immediately.
7. Untreated, gout can lead to [blank].A) Permanent joint and tissue damageB) Kidney stonesC) DiabetesD) Heart problemsE) All of the above
Untreated, gout can lead to permanent joint and tissue damage from the buildup of uric acid crystals – and can even lead to loss of normal use of the affected area.
Other untreated health issues, like diabetes and problems with the kidneys and heart, can be a precursor for gout – or can result from untreated gout. Because of this, a prompt diagnosis and early, ongoing treatment of gout is critical.
To learn more about health issues associated with gout, click here.
8. Which of the following is not a good practice for someone who has been diagnosed with gout?A) Monitor uric acid levels regularly, with a goal of keeping it below 6 mg/dLB) Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy body weightC) Eat a diet that is low in purines and fructoseD) Eat a diet that is high in proteinE) Limit alcohol intake
All of the above can help to manage gout symptoms and reduce future attacks, with the exception of a high-protein diet.
Click here to learn more about living with gout.
9. Which of the following can help to decrease the pain of a gout attack?A) Drinking alcoholB) ExercisingC) Taking colchicine or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugD) All of the above
Colchicine, taken orally, is typically used to treat the pain and inflammation of an acute gout attack. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil or Aleve, can also be used to help reduce inflammation. If you have gout symptoms, check with a physician or pharmacist first before taking these medications, especially if you have other health issues.
Those experiencing a gout attack should avoid alcohol consumption. While exercising is a great way to stay healthy and reduce future attacks, it will not help to decrease pain caused by an acute attack. Many people find that the application of ice to the affected joint also helps to reduce pain in the acute setting. However, ice should not be left on the affected joint for more than 20-25 minutes at a time.
For additional tips on treating and managing gout, click here.
10. Last question! What are the most important steps in treating and managing gout?A) Getting a correct diagnosisB) Adhering to a medication planC) Living an overall, healthy lifestyleD) Monitoring/controlling other health conditionsE) Communicating with your doctor on an ongoing basisF) All of the above
By taking these steps, those suffering from gout can help “Take a Stand on Gout” and keep future, painful attacks at bay.
To learn more, visit GoutEducation.org.
Your gout knowledge is pretty low! Visit GoutEducation.org to learn more about gout and access free resources, including a brochure and other patient fact sheets that have the latest on gout diagnosis, management and treatment.
Your gout knowledge is adequate, but there is still a lot that you can learn. Visit GoutEducation.org to learn more about gout and access free resources, including a brochure and other patient fact sheets that have the latest on gout diagnosis, management and treatment.
Visit GoutEducation.org to learn more about gout and access free resources, including a brochure and other patient fact sheets that have the latest on gout diagnosis, management and treatment.