New Guidelines For Gout… Do The Europeans Know More Than We Do… Or Not?

Gout is a type of arthritis that affects more than 2 million Americans. It is due to an accumulation of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a byproduct of purine metabolism. Purines are substances found in certain foods such as red meats, organ meats, shellfish, red wine, beer, and vegetables such as asparagus. When purine-containing foods are digested, one of the main substances produced is uric acid. Uric acid accumulates as crystals and these deposits of uric acid crystals in joints and other organ systems such as the kidneys cause a local inflammatory response and tissue damage.

People who have gout also often have other medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, kidney disease, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes.

While rheumatologists in the United States have been trained to deal with gout using U.S. guidelines, the Europeans have recently produced their own set of guidelines that are at least worthy of consideration.

These include:

Confirming suspected gout by documenting the presence of uric acid crystals in the joint fluid of an inflamed joint.

Evaluating a patient0s risk for gout and also looking at other 0co-morbid conditions0 (other medical problems).

Educating a patient about diet, weight loss, and alcohol.

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