National Gout Awareness Day is recognized annually on May 22 to help raise awareness around gout, a painful disease that affects approximately 8.3 million Americans.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops as a result of excess levels of uric acid in the blood, which results in a condition called hyperuricemia.. The uric acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.
Although gout appears to manifest itself suddenly as an acutely red, hot and swollen joint (often the big toe) with excruciating pain, it’s actually the result of a process that’s been occurring in the body for quite some time. The disease may be chronic for some patients, and for others it may remit for long periods of time, followed by flares for days to weeks.
While gout itself is caused by excess uric acid in the body, there are also things that can trigger acute gout attacks. Just a few of the triggers of gout attacks include: joint injury, surgery, diuretic medications for high blood pressure, crash dieting, dehydration and alcohol consumption. Visit our website for more information on potential gout triggers.
Gout is one of the more common types of arthritis, making up approximately 15% of all people with some form of doctor-diagnosed arthritis. It is also the most common inflammatory arthritis among men.