What is the Medical Condition “Gout”?

The following is informational only…if you think you are experiencing gout, SEE YOUR DOCTOR!

Disclaimer—The information in this post is derived from several sources:

Me (I suffer from gout)

My Healthcare Providers

The Internet (who would have guessed!)

Gout, caused by a buildup of uric acid in your blood, is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes pain and swelling in your joints.  Purines are found in many foods, including red meat, shellfish, and organ meats.  When your body breaks down those purines, uric acid is a waste product.

The pain in gout is caused when uric acid forms crystals in your joints. These crystals can cause inflammation and pain. The pain of gout can be severe and can make it difficult to move the affected joint. Gout attacks can last for a few days to a week (or two!)

Gout is more common in men than in women. It is also more common in people who are overweight or obese. People with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes, are also more likely to develop gout.

There is no cure for gout, but it can be treated, usually by taking medication to reduce uric acid levels in your blood.

You probably need to make changes to your diet and lifestyle to help prevent gout attacks—I did, with some success.  I still have to drink a good bit of water and watch my diet.

If you think you may have gout, it is important to see a doctor. Gout, which can be a serious condition, can be managed with proper treatment.  In my case, a medication to reduce uric acid also is hard on the kidneys, so periodic blood tests might be necessary if you are taking medication for your gout—ask your provider team.

Here are some of the symptoms of gout:

  • Sudden, severe pain in a joint, often the big toe (I have experienced it in my feet, ankles, knees, and fingers/hands, at various times)
  • Swelling, redness, and warmth around the affected joint
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Fever (not me)
  • Chills (not me)
  • Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away. Gout can be a serious condition, but it can be treated with proper care.

Here are some of the risk factors for gout:

  • Age (I was 69 when I first experienced gout)
  • Gender (I am male)
  • Family history (none with me that I know of)
  • Weight (yep)
  • High blood pressure (yep)
  • High cholesterol (a little)
  • Kidney disease (?)
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Diet (rich foods, such as red meats, shell fish, SUGAR…)

If you have any of these risk factors, you are more likely to develop gout. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent gout attacks, including:

  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese (I’ have done and am doing that—hasn’t helped with gout—yet)
  • Eating a healthy diet that is low in purines (I’m acutely focused on this—no added sugar/very little, watch rich food levels)
  • Drinking plenty of fluids (yes, but no alcohol)
  • Avoiding alcohol (crap!!!—have given it up)
  • Taking medication to reduce uric acid levels in your blood (at a minimum—it messes with my kidney blood labs)
  • Making lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and getting enough sleep (trying)

Please don’t rely on the information in this post for medical purposes.  If you have gout, it is important to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. With proper treatment, you can manage gout and live a normal life (as normal as it can be with no alcohol or sugar!).

I have complained about giving up alcohol and reducing sugar/rich foods in my diet, but those actions are a no-brainer versus the pain experienced from gout..if you are reading this, either you or some you know is experiencing this.  I wish you the best.

If you are curious about how I do this online, a good example is one of my other websites here:

I had no experience in this when I started in 2017…the experience gained has been great! If you have any questions about anything in this post, just leave a message at the bottom. You can review my Privacy Policy above, if you have any concerns.

Wishing you all the best,


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