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IS THE GOUT CONSIDERED A MEDICAL DISEASE THAT YOU WILL HAVE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? I AM A 56 YEAR OLD MALE AND I HAVE HAD BOUTS WITH THE GOUT OFF AND ON FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS. MY DOCTOR HAS PERSCRIBED MEDS OF FLAIR UPS AS WELL AS PERVENTAIVE MEDS BUT I STILL HAVE FLAIR UPS OF GOUT.

Gout is a common rheumatologic disorder involving excessive uric acid buildup and deposition in joints and soft tissue. Nearly all cases of gout are chronic conditions that the patient will need to manage for the rest of his/her life. If untreated, crystals can form in joints and the kidneys leading to arthritis/joint destruction as well as kidney failure. People fall into three categories with regards to gout:
1) The majority of patients are unable to adequately excrete the uric acid in urine.
2) Some patients over-consume food rich in uric acid (red meat, alcohol, etc.)
3) Lastly, there are patients who produce excessive amounts of uric acid.

Treatment for gout involves dietary modification as well as pharmacotherapy with the goal to lower uric acid so that patients do not get acute gouty attacks. Patients should eat a low fat, low cholesterol diet as well as limit their intake of red meat and beer. Pharmacotherpay is the mainstay for gout therapy with drugs such as allopurino, probenecid, and colchicine being the most common drugs used.

If you are still having gouty attacks, you should be evaluated by your primary care physician or rheumatologist to determine if your blood uric acid levels are still too high despite pharmacotherapy and if modifying the drugs you are on could help.

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