Know Everything From Causes, Symptoms, To Treatment

Gout is a serious condition that affects over 9.2 million people in the U.S. The pain associated with gout can be debilitating and even lead to long-term disability. Gout flare-ups, which occur when the pain is at its worst, can last days or weeks and affect your ability to carry out everyday activities.

Because it tends to affect the big toe the most, activities like driving or even walking can become excruciatingly painful. In severe cases, gout can lead to permanent joint and tissue damage.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause sudden, severe pain and swelling in your joints. The condition is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in your joints, which can lead to intense and chronic pain.

Which Parts Of The Body Are Affected?

Gout most commonly affects the big toe (in fact, 50 percent of gout attacks begin in the big toe). However, gout can also affect the ankles, wrists, fingers, and elbows. In some cases, gout can even spread to the knees, hands, and shoulders.

How Gout Causes Pain

The presence of uric acid crystals in your joints and the surrounding tissue, they can cause inflammation and pain. This is due to a response from the immune system, which tries to break down and remove the crystals. As a result, the pain is often sharp, intense, and sudden.

Causes And Possible Risk Factors For Gout

The accumulation of uric acid crystals is caused by an excess of uric acid in your bloodstream. There are several causes and potential risk factors that can cause this buildup, such as:

Family History

A family history of gout will increase your risk of developing the condition. Certain genetic mutations can cause the body to produce more uric acid than it can process, resulting in a buildup of uric acid crystals.

Age-Related Deterioration

As you age, your kidneys become less effective at filtering and removing waste from your body. As a result, uric acid is more likely to build up in your blood, causing gout.

Eating Purine-Rich Foods

Purines are organic compounds found in some foods. The body breaks purines down into uric acid so it can be removed with greater ease. Unfortunately, eating too many purine-rich foods, such as organ meats and seafood, can lead to an accumulation of uric acid.

Drinking Beverages with High-Fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is often added to sodas and other sweet beverages. When consumed in large amounts, HFCS can contribute to elevated uric acid levels and increase the risk of gout.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol consumption, especially in excess, can lead to elevated uric acid levels. Beer is particularly known for containing high amounts of purines, which are converted to uric acid in the body.

Symptoms Of Gout

Various symptoms are associated with gout, ranging from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. The following are common symptoms associated with gout:

Intense Pain In Joints

The most common gout symptom is intense pain in the affected joint. Gout pain generally comes on suddenly and can be very severe. It’s often described as a burning sensation or throbbing ache. Pain can last for several days or even weeks, making it difficult to move the affected joint and making everyday activities such as walking or driving unbearable.

Also, dealing with long periods of gout pain can lead to disrupted sleep and fatigue.

Discoloration Or Redness

The affected joint can become discolored or reddish. This discoloring can happen because of the presence of uric acid crystals and inflammation.

Swelling and Stiffness

The joint may also be tender when touched or become swollen and stiff as a result of the inflammation. It’s common for these symptoms to accompany the intense pain of gout and the discoloration of the joint.

Unusual Warmth

The affected joint may also be unusually warm when you touch it due to increased blood flow as a result of inflammation.


How To Manage Symptoms Of A Gout Attack

Even if a gout attack doesn’t cause debilitating pain, the swelling that is common due to inflammation can make it difficult to move the affected joint. Here are some tips for managing a gout attack:

Icing Joints

You can reduce any swelling or pain by putting an ice pack on the affected joint. Doing so can help address any unusual warmth in the joint as well.


Elevating the affected joint can also help reduce swelling and pain. Whether you sit in an armchair with your feet elevated or put a pillow under your leg. Elevating the joint helps reduce swelling and pain by reducing pressure on the joint. Doing so can help to improve circulation in the area, which can help speed up recovery.

Limiting Physical Activity

Resting the affected joint is also critical. Limiting physical activity, especially any movement that causes pain, can help reduce inflammation and relieve pressure on the joint.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is essential for managing a gout attack. Dehydration can worsen symptoms by increasing uric acid concentration in the blood. Drinking plenty of water can help reduce uric acid levels in the body and relieve pain. Not to mention that electrolytes and minerals found in water also help reduce inflammation.

Conventional Treatment Options for Gout

Gout affects millions of people, which means that most medical professionals aren’t strangers to treating patients with gout. Unfortunately, there is no cure for gout; however, there are many ways in which gout can be treated. The following are some of the more conventional treatment options:

Low-Purine Diet

Because purine-rich foods are known for triggering gout attacks, a low-purine diet is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments. This means avoiding high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood (such as sardines, mackerel, and anchovies).

Many doctors may recommend Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), which is a plan emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Over-The-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter medications are often recommended to help address pain and inflammation. Just keep in mind that these medications are only effective at providing short-term relief because they’re only addressing the symptoms of gout, not the condition itself.

  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or aspirin, can help temporarily reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Colchicine: Colchicine is a medication that can help reduce inflammation in the affected joint by preventing white blood cells from attacking it.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are steroids that are usually taken orally or injected. They help reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain.

Prescription Medication

Prescription medications tend to be much stronger, meaning they can be more effective but also riskier to take. For instance, some prescription medications can result in side effects and can be habit-forming. The following are the different types of medications often prescribed to address gout:

  • Allopurinol: Allopurinol is a medication that helps reduce the uric acid that the body produces, which can help reduce gout attacks.
  • Febuxostat: Febuxostat also decreases uric acid made by the body and is more suited for preventing gout as opposed to treating it.
  • Pegloticase: Pegloticase is a medication used to treat severe, chronic gout. Unlike other medications, pegloticase works by breaking down uric acid in the blood.
  • Probenecid: Probenecid is a medication that helps reduce levels of uric acid by increasing its excretion in the urine.

What Happens If Gout Is Left Untreated?

Gout doesn’t always cause severe pain, but that doesn’t mean you should just leave it untreated. If you experience any gout symptoms, you must have the condition diagnosed so that you can take steps to treat it. If you don’t treat your gout, it could result in the following consequences:

Joint Problems

Gout can cause inflammation and pain in the affected joint. If left untreated, gout can damage the joint over time, leading to permanent loss of mobility that will cause difficulty performing everyday activities.

Related Conditions

If left untreated gout can lead to several additional conditions, including:

  • Severe Arthritis: Severe gout can lead to a form of arthritis known as “gouty arthritis,” which is when uric acid crystals are deposited in the affected joint. As a result, it can cause severe inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
  • Joint Deformity: In extreme cases, gout can cause permanent deformities in the affected joint. This is due to the erosion of cartilage and bone caused by uric acid crystals.
  • Kidney Stones: Gout can also increase the risk of developing kidney stones, which are small crystals that form in the kidneys. They can be very painful when passed.
  • Heart Disease: Long-term gout has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. This includes coronary artery disease and heart failure.
  • Kidney Disease: Long-term gout can also lead to kidney damage, which is known as “gouty nephropathy.” This can result in a decrease in kidney function and can even lead to kidney failure. In fact, ten percent of people with chronic kidney disease also have gout.

Can Gout Be Prevented?

There is no cure for gout. However, there are ways that you can prevent gout from occurring or reduce the risk of flare-ups. One way is to follow a low-purine diet, decreasing the amount of uric acid in your body. Additionally, drinking lots of water will help reduce uric acid levels by flushing out toxins from the body.

Finally, regular exercise is also vital for gout prevention as it helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation. With a balanced combination of these strategies, you can reduce the risk of developing gout or experiencing gout flare-ups.

Neurofunctional Pain Management For Gout

We treat gout using a Neurofunctional Pain Management approach. This approach focuses on addressing the underlying causes of gout pain and providing long-term relief without surgery or medications. 

Our protocol is a non-invasive, drug-free, non-chiropractic, whole-person approach to treating gout pain. Our goal is to not only reduce the inflammation and pain associated with gout, but also to help restore mobility and function. We use a combination of treatment solutions to achieve this, including:


Electroanalgesia is a pain management technique that uses high-pulse electrical current to ease pain, boost blood circulation, improve mobility, and induce...

Read More About Gout Electroanalgesia

IV Therapy

IV nutritional therapy, or intravenous therapy, involves administering vital nutrients directly to the bloodstream through an IV. This type of treatment bypasses the digestive system, allowing for maximum absorption and utilization of nutrients by the...

Read More About Gout IV Therapy

Lifestyle Counseling

Lifestyle counseling is an approach to managing chronic pain that involves identifying, assessing, and modifying lifestyle factors contributing to an individual's pain. For example, lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep quality...

Read More About Gout Lifestyle Counseling

Manage Your Gout Pain And Symptoms Wisely

Our goal is to help patients manage their gout pain and symptoms with a customized treatment plan designed to provide long-term relief. Our combination of electroanalgesia, specialized IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling can help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, reduce uric acid levels, and more.

We believe in providing our patients with the best care and are committed to helping them manage their gout symptoms without resorting to risky treatment solutions, such as pain medications or surgery.

We have a proven strategy to help deal with gout pain.

Learn more about the gout pain treatment