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Gout

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis that affects over 9 million people in the U.S. alone. While gout typically affects the joint in the big toe, it may also develop in the joints of the ankle, knee, fingers, wrist, elbow, or other areas of the body. Gout treatments vary depending on the severity of symptoms but often may include lifestyle changes, oral medications, or gout infusion therapy.

Why Does Gout Develop?

Anyone can develop gout, but the disease is more common among men and those with obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. Gout is also associated with diets high in fructose and purines. Family history of gout, as well as drinking alcohol or using certain medications (diuretics), can also increase your risk.

We take in purines, a chemical compound, when we consume foods such as red meats, seafood, sugary snacks and drinks, and alcohol. The body breaks purines down into uric acid, which is then expelled through the urine. But when your body builds up an excess amount of uric acid that can’t be expelled, it begins to accumulate around the joints.

Over time, this buildup around the joints can lead to swelling, inflammation, redness, and pain. Gout symptoms often come on suddenly and with no prior warning. Sometimes, large, painful bumps (tophi) may develop around the joints. A typical gout attack usually lasts anywhere from a few hours to days, although severe attacks can last upwards of several weeks.

Diagnosing Gout

If you are experiencing symptoms of gout, your doctor may run some tests to form a diagnosis and rule out other potential causes:

 

  • Blood test: measures uric acid levels in the blood.
  • Joint fluid test: draws fluid from around the affected joints to be examined for urate crystals using a microscope.
  • Ultrasound: detects urate crystals using sound waves
  • X-rays: closely examines joints

Treating Gout

There are several treatments available to treat gout and manage symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to reduce pain and inflammation that accompanies gout attacks. Other medications are used to lower the uric acid levels in your body. The type of medication is determined by your doctor based on the severity of your symptoms and your health. The most common oral medications include over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Colchicine, and Corticosteroids.

For more severe cases and for those who don’t find relief from oral medications, gout infusion therapy is an option. KRYSTEXXA®, a biologic infusible medication, is used to treat patients with chronic gout. This IV therapy is typically administered once every two weeks for six months. KRYSTEXXA works by lowering uric acid levels in the body by converting them into allantoins (a water-soluble substance). Many patients experience dramatic relief and significantly lower uric acid levels upon the completion of treatment.

Get Started with Infusion Therapy

 

For Patients Seeking Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with gout, talk to your doctor about KRYSTEXXA IV therapy. FlexCare Infusion Centers is a Gout Center of Excellence for gout IV therapy treatment. Our patients experience better treatment outcomes and enjoy expert KRYSTEXXA infusion nurses and consistent communication and support throughout the course of treatment.

Learn more about our Gout Center of Excellence, and ask your provider to submit a KRYSTEXXA referral form.

For Referring Providers

If you’d like to refer a patient to FlexCare Infusion Centers, complete a referral form and fax or email it to our intake team.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions about thyroid eye disease or infusion therapy, contact us directly. We look forward to helping you on your journey to better health.