Ask The Doctors – June 2024

Controlling gout…Sjögren’s syndrome


Q. I recently had a second gout attack. They were both extremely painful. I took pain medication, and they were over in a few days. My doctor wants me to take a long-term medication. Can’t I just control this with my diet?


To understand why your doctor wants you to take the medication, it helps to understand gout. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid, which is a waste product of the normal process of the breakdown of cells. Substances called purines exist in the DNA of cells, and purines break down into uric acid. Uric acid dissolves in the blood and is eliminated in urine. In people with gout, the body does not efficiently get rid of uric acid, and it builds up in the bloodstream. If the levels get too high, uric acid can settle in deposits in and around joints. These deposits can release crystals of uric acid, which can trigger gout attacks.

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