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Articles > Are you at risk for gout?

Are you at risk for gout?

Lindsay Bosslett

Provided by HealthMonitor

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 6 million people in the U.S. have experienced gout, a condition that causes swelling and pain in joints, often in the big toe. It's caused when uric acid, a naturally occurring by-product of cells in your body, builds up in joints. To find out if gout is behind your joint pain, answer these questions:

1. Does your joint pain often strike at night?
" Yes " No

2. Does your joint pain develop quickly, going from no pain to intense pain overnight?
" Yes " No

3. Does your joint pain often go away after 3 to 10 days?
" Yes " No

4. When your joints swell,
do they feel warm to the touch and look red?
" Yes " No

5. Do you ever have joint pain that affects just one joint, such as a toe, an ankle or a knee?
" Yes " No

6. Has your joint pain ever been so bad that just the lightest touch, say, the weight of a blanket resting over it, is unbearable?
" Yes " No

7. Have you been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypothyroidism or
Lesch-Nyhan syndrome?
" Yes " No

8. Are you overweight?
" Yes " No

9. Do you take diuretics,
aspirin, niacin, cyclosporine
or levodopa?
" Yes " No

10. Have you ever had
lead poisoning?
" Yes " No

11. Have you ever been
treated for tuberculosis?
" Yes " No

12. Have you ever been diagnosed with leukemia
or lymphoma?
" Yes " No

13. Have you ever had an
organ transplant?
" Yes " No

14. If you're a man, do you
have more than two alcoholic drinks a day? If you're a woman, do you have more than one?
" Yes " No

15. Do you eat a lot of
sardines, mussels, herring, anchovies, bacon, veal, turkey, salmon or liver?
" Yes " No

What's my gout risk?
Add up 1 point for every "yes" you answered. If you have 4 or more points, you may have gout. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms today'and don't delay! The longer joint pain is left untreated, the more likely it is that permanent damage can occur.
16. Does anyone in your
family have gout?
" Yes " No

Is it refractory gout?
Some folks with gout have special trouble controlling their uric acid levels because of poor kidney function or resistance to the usual medications. This is known as refractory gout'a condition that, left untreated, can lead to significant joint damage. If you're taking gout medication but are still having problems, talk to your doctor. New treatments are available that may help get your gout under control.
Diabetes Mellitis (Type II) Gout Hypothyroidism Obesity Ankle Sprain Arthralgia Joint Aches Joint Pain Knee Pain Pain Pain, Joint Cyclosporine Joint Pain Aspirin Diabetes Hyperlipidemia Hypertension Niacin Attention Deficit Disorder Leukemia Swelling Lymphoma

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