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
- 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.