Gout is characterized by acute or chronic arthritis due to deposits of crystals in and around joints. The deposition of monosodium urate crystals leads to acute gout and chronic tophaceous gout. The deposition of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrates (CPPD) crystals leads to pseudogout, also known as chondrocalcinosis. These conditions are among the most common causes of inflammatory arthritis. Identification of crystals in synovial fluid is the key to getting the correct diagnosis.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a disease caused by too much uric acid in your body. Uric acid can be deposited in various sites in the body including joints. Though excess uric acid may not cause symptoms at first, over time the accumulation of deposits may cause painful joint inflammation (arthritis). Most people who have gout are middle-aged men, but it can occur at any age. Only 5 to 10% of gout cases occur in women, usually after menopause.
How Can I Tell if My Gout is Out of Control?
If you suffer from gout but are unsure of the full status of your condition, we’ve created a short quiz to help you determine the severity. Click on the button below to take the quiz and then a member of our team will follow up with you.
What Does Gout Lead to?
The pain of acute gout is often extreme, especially in the first few episodes. The initial episodes frequently involve a single joint, usually the big toe. This can interrupt sleep, prevent walking, and interfere with work and leisure. When recurrent acute gout goes untreated and when there is a failure to eradicate causative factors, the condition may evolve in arthritis. There may even be deposition of urate crystals to form visible tophi or lumpy deposits under the skin. Swelling and deformity then become the characteristic signs, but without the intense inflammation.
How Is Gout Diagnosed?
Dr. Cohen or one of his esteemed associates may deem it necessary to aspirate fluid from an inflamed joint to determine whether the urate crystals are causing the problem. Also, blood and/or urine tests may be needed to assess the degree of increased uric acid in your body. Finally, standard x-rays may be necessary to determine if joint or soft tissue damage has occurred. If gout emerges as the diagnosis, Dr. Cohen will then discuss treatment options.
How Is Gout Treated?
The principle goal of treatment includes treating the acute attacks early and effectively. It is also important to correct factors that may contribute to increased uric acid. These include decreasing excessive alcohol use, correcting obesity or substituting diuretic therapy with another hypertension medicine. Also, ingestion of foods high in purines (precursors of uric acid), such as red meat, wine and beer needs to be decreased. Finally, medications to decrease the uric acid pool in the body can be instituted.
KRYSTEXXA Treatments at Cohen Medical Centers
KRYSTEXXA is an IV medicine used in adults to help reduce the signs and symptoms of gout that are not controlled by other treatments. It is the only gout treatment that controls chronic gout by changing uric acid into a water-soluble substance called allantoin that your body easily gets rid of through urine.
After just one IV treatment, KRYSTEXXA starts to lower your uric acid level enough to begin dissolving years of uric acid crystal buildup. Within 24 hours of the first IV treatment, the average uric acid level of patients who responded to KRYSTEXXA was 1 mg/dL. The lower your uric acid level, the faster gout buildup dissolves. It can take more than two years for oral gout medicines to dissolve even a small amount of uric acid crystal buildup. KRYSTEXXA can dissolve most of it in about six months. 45% of patients had one visible lump (tophus) completely disappear in six months. In these same patients, there was no new tophus growth.
To find out if KRYSTEXXA is right for you, contact us today.
Gout Treatment In Thousand Oaks, California
Known for their expert and compassionate care, Dr. Cohen and his esteemed team offer treatment for gout and pseudogout in Ventura County. To schedule an appointment, call us at (805) 449-8781 or fill out the form below, and someone from our helpful staff will get back to you.