Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center
Rheumatology & Internal Medicine located in Pleasanton, CA & Turlock, CA
Gout attacks often come on suddenly and unexpectedly, causing severe joint pain, swelling, and redness. At Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center, the experienced rheumatology team led by Iraj Sabahi, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and management of gout and offer treatments to alleviate your acute pain and minimize or prevent a recurrence of your gout attacks. For expert care of your gout, contact the office in Pleasanton or Turlock, California, by phone or online today.
What is gout?
Gout is a painful type of arthritis caused by an accumulation of urate crystals in the joint. Urate crystals form when you have high blood levels of uric acid, a byproduct of the metabolism of purines, which are natural substances found in your body.
Under normal circumstances, your kidneys remove uric acid from your blood and eliminate it through your urine. Sometimes your body produces too much uric acid, or your kidneys are unable to excrete it. The excess uric acid in your blood causes the formation of urate crystals that settle in the joints, causing pain and swelling.
Though gout can affect any joint in your body, the attacks often occur at the base of the big toe.
What are gout symptoms?
Gout symptoms typically develop quickly and usually at night. Common gout symptoms include:
- Severe joint pain
- Inflammation and redness
- Reduced mobility
During a gout attack, you’re likely to experience the most severe joint pain during the first 4-12 hours of your attack. As your severe pain subsides, you may continue to experience joint discomfort that lasts a few days or a few weeks.
How is gout diagnosed?
The experienced rheumatology team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center conducts comprehensive evaluations to diagnose gout. During your assessment, the team asks detailed questions about your symptoms, medical and family history, and completes a physical exam, paying close attention to the joint responsible for your symptoms.
To confirm your diagnosis, the team may recommend various diagnostic tests such as a blood test to check uric acid levels, as well as aspiration of your joint fluid to look for urate crystals. If you’re not currently experiencing a gout attack, the team may recommend an ultrasound or dual-energy CT scan to look for urate crystals in the joints or muscles.
How is gout treated?
The experts at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center develop personalized gout treatment plans aimed at alleviating your symptoms and preventing future attacks. Medications are the primary treatment for gout and may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors (reduces uric acid production)
- Uricosurics (helps the kidneys remove uric acid)
In addition to your medications, the experts at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center may also talk to you about lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of a gout attack. These may include limiting your intake of high-purine foods and beverages, regular exercise, and weight loss.
To get relief from your gout, call Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center or request an appointment online today.