Gout is a treatable chronic inflammatory condition that can cause severe joint pain and disfigurement. Commonly, it affects the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint as a monoarticular process. It is typically caused by hyperuricemia and genetic mutations of the uricase gene. Gout is definitively diagnosed with the presence of negative birefringent needle-shaped crystals in the synovial fluid of the affected joint. Classically, seafood and alcohol are risk factors for developing gout. However, given current population trends, obesity is another major risk factor. While weight loss is the best conservative management, medications can also be used to manage gout. The treatment is aimed at preventing acute flares, addressing acute flares, and lowering uric acid levels. Current gout medications do achieve these treatment goals, but unfortunately long-term adherence is typically low. Studies have shown that individualized treatment with the aid of interdisciplinary team management has improved medication adherence and patient understanding of their condition. As with those with other chronic conditions, patients have seen both racial and coronavirus-driven impacts on the success of gout treatment plans.
Acknowledgement of assistance from Wilson Crone in preparation of the manuscript.
Fappiano A, Crone W. Gout: Current Considerations. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2021 Oct 01;19(4), Article 2.