Gout: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when the bodily waste product uric acid is deposited as needle-like crystals in the joints and/or soft tissues which leads to swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joints.
  • In many people, gout initially affects the joints of the big toe (a condition called podagra) and it may also affect other joints which include the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.
  • The higher the level of uric acid, the greater the chance of developing gout
  • Men are more likely to get gout, but women become increasingly susceptible to gout after menopause (end of monthly periods)
Gout overview image

Recovery Time

Attacks usually subside within 3 to 10 days, even without treatment, and the next attack may not occur for months or even years.
You may experience symptoms every few weeks, months or years, but it is impossible to predict when the condition will recur.
Gout recovery


  • Affected joint fluid test for the presence of uric acid crystals
  • Blood test to know the amount of uric acid present in blood
  • X-rays, Ultrasound and dual energy computed tomography (commonly called dual energy CT) can show early features of gouty joint involvement. 
Diagnosis test for gout

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Gout?
Gout is the inflammation of the joints due to deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints. It usually affects the ball of the great toe or ankle (unilaterally), while other joints may also get affected.

Q2.  What causes Gout?
Gout is caused when the level of uric acid rises in blood and they crystallize in the joints, causing pricking pain, swelling and redness.

Q3.  What is the treatment for Gout?
Gout is treated with medication which will dissolve the crystallized uric acid in the joint and analgesics are used to reduce pain and inflammation. Once the acute symptoms are resolved, you will be given a diet chart to follow and medication to reduce the uric acid levels to acceptable levels.

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
Acute gout symptoms resolve within 1-2days of treatment. Uric acid levels take about 1-2mts with medication to reduce to normal levels.

Q5.  Are there any chance of recurrence?
Yes. There is a high chance of recurrence if the uric acid levels in the blood are high.

Q6.  How do I prevent Gout?
Gout can be prevented by avoiding diet high in purines and taking medicines to keep the uric acid levels in control. Check uric acid levels every month or two if you are prone for hyperurecemia.

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