Gout – An Ancient Disease
Gout is an ancient disease, its earliest descriptions dating to the time of Hippocrates. It is a painful affliction of the joints caused by deposits of crystals derived from uric acid. Attacks often occur as severe flare-ups of pain, swelling and redness in the feet and ankles, but can also involve other joints. There are few disorders as painful
as gout, turning those in the throes of an acute attack into a state of helplessness. Early on in the course of this disease, flare-ups occur infrequently, last a week or so, and resolve on their own or with the help of medications that fight inflammation.
Over time, attacks become more frequent, last longer and involve an increasing number of joints. Eventually, if not controlled, gout sufferers may develop persistent joint pain, swelling, deformity and disability. In the most severe cases, lumps composed of crystalline uric acid form on the joints and in other tissues. These lumps, called tophi, can be quite disfiguring and may interfere with ordinary joint function.
The management of gout involves two important steps. The first is to control the severe attacks by inhibiting inflammation with medications like colchicine, ibuprofen or naproxen. The second, as attacks become more frequent, is to mobilize and eliminate the uric acid derived crystals from the joints and surrounding tissues. In essence, first fix the pain and then clear the body of excess amounts of uric acid.
In rare cases, patients may need intravenous treatment with a uric acid lowering agent called pegloticase (Krystexxa). Working with a rheumatologist is the best way to determine the right therapy for patients with gout.
Additional information about gout can be found Here.
Infusion treatment medications include: