Arthritis Home > What You Need to Know About Gouty Arthritis
SymptomsWhen high levels of uric acid in the blood lead to deposits of uric acid inside a joint, a person can develop gouty arthritis. Symptoms of the disease may include:
- Sudden onset of intense joint pain
- Swelling in the joints
- Extreme tenderness in the joint area
- Redness and heat at the joint
- Stiffness in the joint.
(Click Gout Symptoms for more information on these symptoms of gout.)
Diagnosing Gouty ArthritisGouty arthritis may be difficult for healthcare providers to diagnose because the symptoms may be vague, and they often mimic other conditions. Therefore, in order to make a diagnosis of gouty arthritis, the healthcare provider will ask a number of questions, perform a physical exam looking for signs and symptoms of gout, and recommend certain tests and procedures.
Other conditions that may share similar symptoms with gout include:
- Septic arthritis (an infection inside the joint)
- Calcific tendonitis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE for short)
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- HIV infection.
(Click Gout Diagnosis for more information on this topic.)
Treatment OptionsThere is no cure for gouty arthritis. However, a person with gouty arthritis can take medications and make certain lifestyle changes in order to keep this condition under control. The goal of any of these prevention methods is to control uric acid in the blood -- keeping it below concentrations at which crystals can form. This can reduce both the discomfort caused by the symptoms of gout and long-term damage to the affected joints. Proper gout treatments can help prevent disability due to this condition.
(Click Gout Treatments for more information on how acute gouty arthritis is treated, including specific medicines that may be used. Click Gout Prevention for strategies that have been found to be helpful in preventing gout.)