Here’s what you need to
know about gout

What is gout?

Gout is a serious and painful form of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood, ¹ either because the body makes more than it should, or the kidneys do not remove as much as they should. ² This uric acid can create tiny needle-like crystals that can build up almost anywhere in your body – not just in your bones and joints, but also in your organs (such as the kidney).3, 4, 5

A gout flare occurs when your body reacts to this buildup of uric acid crystals with heat, redness, swelling and pain. Eventually, a flare ends after your body creates a barrier around the crystals to soothe the pain. Although the pain is gone, the crystals are still in your body and can be building up.3, 4, 6, 7

The buildup of uric acid crystals can cause damage to the bones and joints – even if you’re not feeling pain.4, 8, 9 Getting rid of crystal buildup can help prevent future flares and permanent joint damage, making it important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and ensure your uric acid level is well controlled.10

What causes uric acid
crystal buildup?

Despite what some might think, diet is not the main cause of uric acid buildup. In fact, only 1/3 of the uric acid in your body comes from what you eat. The other 2/3 is produced by the body and can be caused by factors like genetics.11 This means that changing your diet alone may not be enough to manage your uric acid levels and adequately control your gout.

A uric acid level blood test is one way your doctor can tell if crystals are building up in your body. When uric acid levels are above 6 mg/dL, you are at an increased risk of future flares and joint damage.12

How to Talk to Your Doctor about Gout

1 in 4

adults with moderate-to-severe CKD have gout 17, 18, 19

What is the connection
between gout and kidney

The kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood by removing wastes, toxins and excess fluid from the body,13 and play a critical role in removing uric acid from the body.2 Sometimes, the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they could.14 This is called chronic kidney disease or CKD.14

People who are living with gout are at an increased risk of having kidney disease.15 Similarly, people with kidney disease may be more likely to develop gout.16

Struggling to get your gout under control?

What does this
mean for me?

While some medicines relieve the symptoms of a gout flare, others work to target uric acid and treat the source of your gout symptoms to prevent gout attacks from happening in the first place. In some instances, even with oral gout medicine gout symptoms continue and become out-of-control.1 That’s why talking to a gout specialist is important.


more likely for a person with
moderate-to-severe CKD to
have gout than someone who
does not have CKD 17*

Is my gout out of control? Answer a few questions to find out more.

What is Gout? The Arthritis Foundation. Accessed December 22, 2019.

2 A to Z Health Guide: Refractory Gout. National Kidney Foundation. Accessed January 24, 2020.

3 Schett G, et al. RMD Open. 2015;1(suppl 1):1-5.

4 Doghramji PP, et al. Postgrad Med. 2012;124:98-109.

5 Park JJ, et al. BMJ Open. 2014;4:1-6.

6 Edwards NL. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. 13th ed. New York, NY: Springer; 2008:241-249.

7 Rada B. J Immunol Res. 2017;e2896380:1-7.

8 Yu KH, et al. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004;43:191-194.

9 Dalbeth N, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;74:1030-1036.

10 Aung T, et. Al. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2017;11:795-800.

11 What Role Does Diet Play in Gout Management? Accessed January 24, 2020.

12 Ruoff G, Edwards NL. Overview of Serum Uric Acid Treatment Targets in Gout: Why Less Than 6 mg/dL? Postgrad Med. 2016;128(7):706-15.1

13 Your Kidneys & How They Work. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed January 24, 2020.

14 Chronic Kidney Disease. Mayo Clinic. Accessed January 24, 2020.

15 Singh J, Cleveland J. Gout is associated with a higher risk of chronic renal disease in older adults: a retrospective cohort study of U.S. Medicare population. BMC Nephrol. 2019;20:93.

16 What is Gout? American Kidney Fund. Accessed January 24, 2020. Krishnan E. PLoSOne. 2012;7:19.

17 Krishnan E. Arthritis Rheum. 2013;65(12):3271-3278.

18 Jing J, et al. NephrolDial Transplant. 2015;30:613-621.


*Post hoc, cross-sectional analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2009 to 2010 of adults >20 years of age. eGFR, estimated glomerular filtration rate.