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Gout is a painful type of arthritis caused by uric acid crystal deposits in a joint. The key symptom is sudden, intense pain at the affected site—most often the big toe, ankle or knee. Other symptoms can include:

  • Swelling and warmth of the joint
  • Redness and tightness of the skin over the joint
  • Fever
  • Hard lumps (urate crystal deposits called tophi) under the skin

The crystals of gout form because of an excess of uric acid (a normal waste product). This buildup can occur when the body produces too much uric acid or when the kidneys eliminate too little of it.

Certain foods and drinks, including game meats, kidney, liver, sardines, alcohol and sugary beverages, can contribute to gout. Historically, the disorder has sometimes been called the “disease of kings” because of the perception that it was caused by rich foods and wine. Certain medications, such as diuretics, the immune suppressant cyclosporine and even salicylate-containing drugs such as aspirin, are also linked with the development of gout.

Gout is often associated with other conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol).

Left untreated, a gout episode typically resolves within three weeks. We help you minimize gout symptoms through carefully tailored treatment plans. In most cases, a combination of medication and lifestyle changes can keep the condition under control.

Our goals in treating gout are to relieve symptoms, prevent future attacks and reduce the chance of long-term complications. Our rheumatology specialists diagnose gout using physical examination, medical history and testing, including biopsy of the joint fluid. We formulate treatment plans for gout based on the location and severity of the symptoms and your preferences.

After bringing a first episode of gout under control with medication, some patients begin long-term therapy with anti-inflammatory agents or uric acid-reducing drugs to keep the condition in remission. With proper treatment, many patients are able to keep the condition at bay indefinitely.

We maintain a partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine that ensures we have access to advances in managing rheumatic diseases such as gout. Through this relationship, we also train new generations of doctors and engage in research to better understand, diagnose and treat rheumatic conditions.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Gout Treatment Information

Common treatment options for gout include:

Gout Locations & Physicians

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Gout Support Services

These national organizations offer information and resources for people with gout: