Gout usually affects men over age 30 with a family history of gout, but it can occur at any time and also affects women, especially after menopause. Recent food and alcohol excess, surgery, infection, physical or emotional stress, or the use of certain drugs can lead to the development of gout symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms

What Causes It?

The body either produces too much uric acid, doesn't excrete enough uric acid, or both, so that the acid accumulates in tissues in the form of needle-like crystals that cause pain. Gout generally occurs because of a predisposition to the condition, but it can result from blood disorders or cancers, such as leukemia, or the use of certain drugs.

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your health care provider will examine the affected joint, evaluate how painful it is, and may ask if there is any history of gout in your family. Your provider may take a sample of fluid from the affected joint, draw blood for a blood test, or take X rays to rule out other possibilities.

Treatment Options

Your health care provider may give you ibuprofen or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to help with the pain and swelling. You must avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and avoid the foods that trigger your attacks. Besides NSAIDs, you may be given other drugs.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

A combination of therapies can be very effective at decreasing both the length and frequency of attacks.

Nutrition Herbs
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. Homeopathy
Some of the most common remedies used for gout are listed below. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours until your symptoms get better. Physical Medicine

Following Up

If you have had several attacks and the joint has suffered damage, your provider may refer you to an orthopedist.

Special Considerations

People who have had gout have an increased risk of developing kidney stones, high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, high levels of triglycerides, and atherosclerosis.


The Burton Goldberg Group, compilers. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Tiburon, Calif: Future Medicine Publishing; 1997.

Everything you need to know about gout. MedicalNews. Accessed at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/ on March 22, 2018.

Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. St Louis, Mo: Mosby-Year Book; 1999.

Gout. NMIHI. Accessed at http://www.nmihi.com/f/gout.htm on November 26, 2018.

Gouty arthritis. MedlinePlus. Accessed at https://medlineplus.gov/ on March 22, 2018.

Larson DE, ed. Mayo Clinic Family Health Book. 2nd ed. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company; 1996.

Ibuprofen. NMIHI. Accessed at http://www.nmihi.com/i/ibuprofen.html on March 22, 2018.

Murray MT, Pizzorno JE. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. 2nd ed. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing; 1998.

Naproxen. NMIHI. Accessed at http://www.nmihi.com/n/naproxen.html on March 22, 2018.

NSAIDs. NMIHI. Accessed at http://drugs.nmihi.com/nsaids.htm on March 22, 2018.

Rose B. The Family Health Guide To Homeopathy. Berkeley, Calif: Celestial Arts Publishing; 1992.

Theodosakis J, Adderly B, Fox B. The Arthritis Cure. New York, NY: St Martin's Press; 1997.

Tierney LM Jr, McPhee SJ, Papadakis MA, eds. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 1994. Norwalk, Conn: Appleton & Lange; 1994.

Vardenafil. NMIHI. Accessed at http://www.nmihi.com/u/vardenafil.html on March 22, 2018.

Werbach MR. Nutritional Influences on Illness. New Canaan, Conn: Keats Publishing Inc; 1987.

What is gout? Cleveland Clinic. Accessed at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/ on March 22, 2018.