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Gout

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Gout is a type of arthritis that develops when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood, which causes sharp crystals to form in a joint and cause a gout attack. For most people, the first symptom of gout is sudden, excruciating pain and swelling, tenderness, and redness in the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout can also develop in other lower-body joints, such as the ankle or knee.

High levels of uric acid, which put you at risk for developing gout, can be caused by:

  • Eating a lot of red and organ meats, and seafood, which are high in purines — your body produces uric acid to break down these substances
  • Certain medicines, such as diuretics (eliminates water from the body) and immune system-suppression medicines
  • Drinking alcohol and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose)
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes , heart disease, kidney conditions, and high blood pressure 
  • Family history of gout 
  • Obesity
  • Traumatic injuries, surgery, or infections

Some people develop gout only once, but having a gout attack can put you at greater risk of developing recurrent gout (gout attacks occur several times a year). Without proper treatment, gout can damage joints and uric acid crystals can develop in the urinary tract, leading to kidney stones.

University of Miami Health System rheumatologists can help you get relief. We make it convenient, with locations throughout South Florida.

Why Choose UHealth?

Expert diagnosis and personalized attention. Our rheumatologists use the latest methods to identify gout quickly so you can get relief right away. We develop a personalized care plan to help reduce the risk of developing gout again and prevent damage to your joints. 

Comprehensive care from a team of specialists. Our rheumatologists use the latest methods to identify gout quickly so you can get relief right away. We develop a personalized care plan to help reduce the risk of developing gout again and prevent damage to your joints. 

Specialized care to improve your quality of life. We'll help you learn how to reduce your risk of gout attacks, such as limiting red meats, alcohol, and sugary drinks; getting regular exercise; and maintaining a healthy weight. We offer advice to keep you healthy.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • At-Home Management

    Here’s what you can do to reduce pain and swelling when you have a gout attack:

    • Apply ice to the joint and keep it elevated
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Make an appointment with your doctor
    • Take an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Medicines to Manage a Gout Attack

    NSAIDs, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), and cochicine are used to relieve pain and swelling. These are most effective when you take them at the first signs of a gout attack.

  • Medicines that control Uric Acid Levels

    Medicines that lower uric acid levels are used to prevent future gout attacks from occurring. Xanithine oxidase inhibitors that include allopurinol or febuxostat reduce the amount of uric acid your body makes. Probenecid and lesinurad help your kidneys remove uric acid from your body more effectively.


Tests

  • Blood Tests

    Doctors use blood tests to measure uric acid in your blood. A high level of uric acid doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get gout, but this information helps your doctor confirm you have gout and plan treatment.

  • Imaging Exams

    Your doctor may use noninvasive imaging — such as an X-ray or ultrasound, which uses sound waves) — to examine your joints and look for uric acid crystals.

  • Joint Fluid Test

    Your doctor may take a small sample (using a needle) of your joint fluid to look for crystals.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • CompCare (Comprehensive Behavioral Care)
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Global Health Claims Services
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana HUMx
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care