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What to Eat and Avoid for Gout

What to Eat and Avoid for Gout

Food choices plays an important role in managing gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood (instead of being excreted) and gets deposited as crystals in one or more joints, triggering sudden swelling and pain. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, naturally occurring compounds in the body and in certain foods, which is why diet can be important for controlling gout attacks. We asked rheumatologist Hyon K. Choi, MD, a gout expert and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, what people with ...more
FDA Approves Two New Drugs for Psoriatic Arthritis

FDA Approves Two New Drugs for Psoriatic Arthritis

Good news for the approximately two million Americans with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Those with active disease now have two new treatment options: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December approved both ixekizumab (Taltz) and tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for the treatment of PsA. This is the second approved indication for ixekizumab. The biologic, which is injected, was approved in March 2016 to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults. It can be taken alone or in combination with a traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), such as methotrexate. This is also the second approved indication for tofacitinib, a so-called targeted DMARD that is taken ...more
An Early Look at the New Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Guideline

An Early Look at the New Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Guideline

Physicians will soon have a new guideline for the management of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This ambitious undertaking, the details of which were presented recently at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting, involved a large panel of experts who analyzed and synthesized the best available evidence to create and support the recommendations. The proposed guideline – which contains approximately 80 recommendations – will undergo final review prior to consideration for publication in 2018 in the journals Arthritis Care & Research and Arthritis & Rheumatism. It will help rheumatologists select treatments for their psoriatic arthritis patients based on the best available evidence, especially in light of all the new treatments recently approved for PsA by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A Need for a PsA Guideline?  “ had formal guidelines for PsA before, but now we have a lot of new treatment options for the management of this disease,” says Jasvinder Singh, MD, head of the panel ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Etanercept, Bariatric Surgery, Joint Replacement

Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Etanercept, Bariatric Surgery, Joint Replacement

Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. For PsA, Etanercept Alone Works Similarly to Combination Therapy When prescribing the biologic drug etanercept (Enbrel), doctors often add methotrexate, believing two drugs will work better than one. A recent study shows that for psoriatic arthritis (PsA), etanercept may work just as well alone. Examining data from 474 people who either received etanercept alone or etanercept with methotrexate, researchers found little difference between the two in in measures of disease activity or disability after 24 weeks. Source: Journal of Rheumatology, June 2016 Bariatric Surgery Eases PsA Symptoms People with psoriatic arthritis ...more
Gout and OA—What’s the Connection?

Gout and OA—What’s the Connection?

A swollen, stiff knee might immediately lead you to suspect you have osteoarthritis (OA), but the culprit could also be gout. Like many close relatives, the two conditions share common features. And because they often occur together, you might wonder which one is causing your symptoms. “It’s definitely possible for people to have both conditions at the same time. They’re the two most common types of arthritis,” says Svetlana Krasnokutsky, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at NYU Langone Health. “They can affect the same joints.” OA is a degenerative disease that gradually breaks down the cartilage that ...more
Making Smart Meat Choices If You Have Gout

Making Smart Meat Choices If You Have Gout

If you’re changing your diet to help lower uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout attacks, meat choices can have a big impact. Some meats are high in purines.  Purines are substances found naturally in the body as well as in in foods. They are broken down in the body to form uric acid. When excess uric acid in the bloodstream builds too quickly or can’t be eliminated fast enough, it is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body, including joints, causing intense pain.  So, a high-purine diet puts you at greater risk for uric ...more
Heart Diet Good for Gout

Heart Diet Good for Gout

A diet that’s best known for promoting heart health may also help gout management. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, may lower serum uric acid (SUA) levels. In a study published in Clinical Rheumatology in March 2017,  research findings showed that the diet reduced SUA within 30 days, with a sustained effect at 90 days. In an earlier study reported in Arthritis & Rheumatology in August 2016, researchers reported similar finding in some cases. Gout occurs when excess uric acid builds up in the blood and ...more
Increasing Allopurinol Dose May Better Control Gout

Increasing Allopurinol Dose May Better Control Gout

In addition to being treated with medication for symptoms of an acute flare, should a person with gout be put on long-term uric acid-lowering medication to reduce future flares? And is it safe to keep raising the dose of the medication until uric acid drops below a specified target? Rheumatologists and other physicians are currently grappling with those questions, and a new study may help lead to some answers. What Is Gout? Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States, affecting more than 8 million adults. It develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid ...more
People with Gout at Risk of Premature Death

People with Gout at Risk of Premature Death

A new study found that people with gout have a 25 percent greater likelihood of dying prematurely than people without gout. The findings also show that this increased mortality rate has not improved over the past 16 years, unlike the mortality rate for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Gout, which affects more than 4 percent of adults in the United States, is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, ...more
Panel Recommends Aggressive Treat-to-Target Approach to Gout

Panel Recommends Aggressive Treat-to-Target Approach to Gout

An international panel of leading gout experts has published new recommendations advising that doctors use a treat-to-target approach for managing gout, a painful form of arthritis that affects more than 8 million adults in the United States. Central to the recommendations is using medication to reduce and keep blood uric acid levels below 6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) – and even lower in people with severe gout. The recommendations were published online in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in September. Treat-to-target – a method in which doctors identify specific targets relevant to a disease and adjust medications until that target is ...more