What Is Gout?

Gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can come and go. 

Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. It causes sudden and intense attacks of joint pain, often in the big toe and at night. It can also strike joints in other toes or the ankle or knee. People with osteoarthritis in their fingers may experience their first gout attack in their finger joints.

Men are three times more likely than women to develop gout. It tends to affect men after age 40 and women after menopause, when they lose the protective effects of estrogen. Gout symptoms can be confused with another type of arthritis called calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD), formerly called pseudogout. However, the crystals that irritate the joint in CPPD are calcium phosphate crystals, not the uric acid crystals that cause gout.

What Causes Gout?

Gout develops in some people with high levels of uric acid due to the breakdown of purines – natural chemicals found in every cell of your body and in many foods, especially red meat, organ meat, some seafood, sugary sodas and beer.

When uric acid builds up, either because the kidneys don’t excrete it the way they should or from consuming too many from a high-purine diet, it can form needle-like crystals that lodge in joints, causing sudden, severe pain and swelling.

Gout attacks usually peak after 12 to 24 hours and go away on their own, whether treated or not. You may only have one gout attack in your lifetime or one every few years. Continued gout attacks that are left untreated can affect other joints, lasting longer and getting worse over time. Some people develop tophi, large uric acid crystals that form in the soft tissue or bones around the joints and can appear as hard bumps.

What Are The Risk Factors For Gout?

You’re more likely to develop gout if you:

  • Eat lots of purine-rich foods, including red meat and some kinds of fish, especially scallops, sardines and tuna, though the health benefits of eating fish likely outweigh any gout risk.
  • Have a family history of gout.
  • Have certain types of chronic conditions, including obesity ,diabetes,  and heart or kidney disease.
  • Take high blood pressure drugs, such as diuretics and beta blockers.
  • Have an imbalance in your microbiome, the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in your gut and regulate the immune system. The microbiome is implicated in most inflammatory diseases, including arthritis.
  • Consume food and drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or drink way too much alcohol, especially beer.
  • Are overweight, making your body produce more uric acid and to have a harder time eliminating it.
  • Have a family history of gout.

Gout Flares Can Be Triggered By Many Things Including:


  • Eating foods that increase uric acid levels, such as red meat, shellfish, and organ meats, can increase the risk of gout. Sugary drinks and sweets, especially those sweetened with fructose, can also trigger gout.


  • Consuming alcohol, especially beer, can increase the risk of gout.


  • Certain medications, such as diuretics and ACE inhibitors, can trigger gout by causing the body to produce too much uric acid.

Other factors

  • Other factors that can trigger gout include dehydration, injury, excess activity, stress, and extreme weather.

Keep Good Track Of Your Gout Triggers

The causes of gout can vary from person to person. Some people can eat steak or drink an occasional beer every now and then without any problems. Others cannot tolerate a bite out of a steak or sip from a beer without a flare-up. So you need to know what is causing your gout. Keep a diary of what you eat for a while. That way, you can go back and see whether you can link flares with specific foods. Then you’ll know what you really need to avoid.

Along with avoiding triggers, here are other things you can do to stay healthy and prevent flares:

  • See your doctor regularly. You may need to adjust your dose of gout medication over time.
  • Always have medicine on hand for flares. The faster you take it, the sooner you can control the symptoms.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and plant proteins (like beans and nuts). Cut down on processed foods (like white bread, cakes, and candy).
  • Get regular exercise. Opt for activities that don’t put a lot of stress on your joints, like swimming, walking, and biking.

How Is Gout Diagnosed?

Your medical history, a physical exam and  tests can help diagnose gout. Your doctor will also want to rule out other reasons for the pain in your joints and inflammation such as an infection, injury or other type of arthritis. Tests you might have include:

  • Imaging tests–Such as X-rays, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and dual-energy computerized tomography, which helps visualize uric acid crystals in joints.
  • Joint fluid analysis–This is the best way  to diagnose gout. Your doctor withdraws fluid from the painful joint(s) and examines it under a microscope for uric acid crystals.
  • Blood test to check uric acid levels–However, many people who have high blood uric acid never develop gout, and some people with gout have normal uric acid levels.

7 Best Gout Treatment Options For 2024

The treatment plan you and your doctor choose for your gout depends on the frequency and severity of your symptoms and also comes down to your own personal preference. Below are the best treatments for gout, which include:

  • Lifestyle changes.— For some people, weight loss, if needed, and a DASH diet or Mediterranean diet may help prevent gout attacks. For decades, doctors told gout patients to limit red meat (beef, pork, lamb and organ meats) and alcohol, but it’s now known that an overall healthy eating plan is far more efficacious and has added benefits for the heart — a common concern in people with gout.
  • Gout friendly diet–One study of nearly 45,000 men found that those who ate a typical American diet — sweets, alcohol, red meat and French fries, — had a 42% greater chance of developing gout than those eating a DASH diet. Eating a low-sodium DASH diet, stressing fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains and other whole, unprocessed foods, reduced uric acid levels and gout risk tremendously.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), which are available over the counter or in stronger prescription versions. NSAIDs are generally prescribed for people under 65 who don’t take blood thinners or have a history of bleeding, because NSAIDs can cause ulcers and intestinal bleeding. Other suitable alternatives would be meloxicam, celecoxib and etoricoxib depending on cardiovascular risk, gastrointestinal risk, or desire for availability with or without prescription.
  • Colchicine: Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory that relieves gout pain but may have unpleasant side effects like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. Lower doses are as effective as higher doses and produce fewer side effects.
  • Indomethacin: Indomethacin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat mild to moderate acute pain and relieve symptoms of arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) or gout, such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids is also effective at bringing down inflammation quickly but with potentially serious side effects.
  • Uric acid-lowering drugs: If you have several gout attacks a year, tophi or signs of joint damage on X-rays, your doctor may suggest taking drugs to lower uric acid and prevent further complications. According to the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) 2020 gout guidelines, Allopurinol is the first choice for all patients. Febuxostat (Uloric) may be considered for some patients who cannot take allopurinol, but it carries a higher risk of heart-related death. The ACR also recommends trying a treat-to-target approach for gout, in which you and your doctor decide on a goal — usually less than 6 mg/dL blood level of uric acid — and adjust your medication and other treatments until you reach it. Probenecid helps the kidneys excrete uric acid from your body. Pegloticase (Krystexxa) breaks down uric acid. Lesinurad (Zurampic) helps your body get rid of uric acid when you pee.

My Mission To Stay Gout-Free In 2024

Out of all the treatments from the up above, the ones that have worked the best for me and my mission to stay pain -free from gout are (1). Indomethacin (For the initial gout flare) (2). (Meloxicam as needed for the gout as well as for my ongoing osteoarthritis) and (3). Allopurinol to prevent or lower high uric acid levels in my blood.

Health Insurance /Gout/Buying Drugs Abroad

Key Health Insurance Coverage Stats

  • Almost 1 in 10 Americans are uninsured. A WorthInsurance analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data from March 2022 shows 8% of Americans don’t have health insurance.
  • Uninsured rates are highest in the South. The four states with the highest rates of Americans without health insurance are Mississippi (14.4%), Texas (13.0%), Oklahoma (12.4%) and Georgia (12.0%).
  • Uninsured rates are lowest in the Northeast. Rhode Island (2.4%), Vermont (3.3%), District of Columbia (3.8%) and Hawaii (3.8%) have the lowest percentages of Americans without health insurance.
  • There are 23 states where the uninsured rate is above the 8.0% national average
  • Education seems to be one of the largest predictors of health insurance status.
  • 3.3% of Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher report not having health insurance, compared to 20.9% of Americans without a high school diploma.
  • Only 1.6% of Americans 65 and older don’t have health insurance, compared to 13.0% of individuals ages 18-24.

How Many Americans Don’t Have Health Insurance?

It is estimated that about 27 million people in the US are uninsured in 2024. of which 8.6 million are noncitizens. It is projected that by 2024 approximately 2.57 million Californians under age 65 (7.9% of the population) will be uninsured. This includes 520,000 uninsured undocumented residents who earn too much for Medi-Cal and do not have an affordable offer of employer coverage. Approximately 1 in 10 Americans, or 8.0%, don’t have health insurance, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey conducted in March 2022.

Who Is Least Likely To Have Health Insurance

Worth Insurance finds certain demographics correlate more highly with one’s health insurance status. Individuals without a high school diploma, younger people, or those who live in the South are less likely to have health insurance of any kind.


Just 3.3% of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher report not having health insurance. 

Uninsured rates by education:

7.6% of people with some college or an associate degree don’t have health insurance.

More than 1 in 10 of individuals who complete high school or obtain a GED diploma but don’t attend college report not having any form of insurance.

More than 1 in 5 of people without a high school diploma report not having health insurance.


9.0% of men don’t have health insurance, while 7.0% of women don’t. The national average falls in between both genders at 8.0%.


There is a large difference in uninsured rates across various age brackets. For example, young Americans lack health insurance at a much higher rate than older adults.

Why Should Anyone Buy Prescription Drugs From Another Country

Some people may buy prescription drugs from other countries to save money, as prescription drugs can be cheaper in some countries. For example, in Europe, drug prices are negotiated, so the same drugs can cost much less than in the U.S.. In countries with single-payer healthcare, the government can also negotiate lower prices with drug companies

About 2 Million Americans Purchase Prescription Drugs Outside The United States

Yeah that’s correct! About 2 million Americans purchase their medicines from outside the country. That’s why you and your family need to protect yourselves. and need to be extra cautious when buying medicine online. Some drug websites operate legally and offer convenience, privacy, security and guarantees for purchasing drugs. Not all websites are the same. The United States Food and Drug Administration warns that there are many unscrupulous online pharmacies that claim to sell prescription drugs at exorbitant prices, and with no prescription. Internet-based pharmacies often sell illegal, counterfeit, or dangerous drugs that are not subject to the protection of a licensed pharmacy.

Many unscrupulous online pharmacies use bogus “marketplaces” to impersonate licensed pharmacies or trick you into thinking their drugs come from countries with high safety standards. But the drugs they sell can be done anywhere, with little care or concern for safety and effectiveness. Additionally, these drugs may be counterfeit, expired, or dangerous to you and your family. How do you know if an online pharmacy is operating legally? The FDA’s BeSafeRx page provides resources and tools to help you make safe and informed decisions when purchasing prescription drugs online.

Number of people purchasing prescription medications outside the U.S. could go up with people being unemployed and uninsured.

Buying prescription drugs from outside the United States became more common with millions of Americans unemployed and uninsured because of the coronavirus pandemic several years ago.  About two million Americans — 1.5% of adults — purchased medications outside the country to save money on medical costs, according to a study by researchers at the University of Florida published online in JAMA

Researchers found that older adults, immigrants, and people with inadequate health insurance are most likely to turn to online pharmacies or drug stores outside American borders, where medications often cost a fraction of the domestic price. They say the pandemic, which has hit seniors and minorities hard and has financially strained thousands of families, could lead to more people turning to international pharmacies.

Why is it that prescription drugs cost less in other countries?

The United States spends some of the lowest amounts of its total healthcare on prescription drugs relative to other developed nations. But Americans also pay some of the highest prices for those drugs, relative to the rest of the world.  In order to pay for a monthly prescription for Nexium, the popular acid reflux drug, an insurer in the United States pays, on average, $215 per customer. Yet the same prescription in the Netherlands costs about one-tenth less, just $23.  In countries where there is single-payer healthcare — in other words where the government pays for most healthcare costs — those governments have significant negotiating power with drug companies to lower prices.

What is the main reason that uninsured citizens of the United States do not have insurance?

Why are people uninsured? Despite policy efforts to improve the affordability of coverage, many uninsured people cite the high cost of insurance as the main reason they lack coverage. In 2022, 64% of uninsured nonelderly adults said that they were uninsured because the cost of coverage was way too high.

Why Are Prescription Drugs More Expensive in the U.S. than in Other Countries?

Key takeaways:

How do I get a prescription in the UK?

To get your prescription you should visit a local community pharmacy. You may have already agreed with your GP practice which pharmacy your prescription should be sent to. In this case, you should check with the pharmacy you’ve chosen how long it’ll take them to have your prescription ready for collection

Can I buy prescription medicine in Australia?

You need a doctor’s prescription to buy prescription medicines from a pharmacist. Otherwise, only authorized health care professionals can supply them, such as in a hospital setting.

Can US citizens buy prescription drugs from Canada?

The FDA allows customers to purchase drugs from Canadian online pharmacies and have them shipped to the U.S. under the same guidelines that regulate bringing drugs across the border. That means that you will need a valid prescription from a licensed healthcare provider and the drugs must be approved for use in the U.S

Know the Signs of a Safe Online Pharmacy

There are ways to identify a safe online pharmacy:

  • Always require a doctor’s prescription.
  • Provide a physical address and telephone number in the U.S.
  • Have a licensed pharmacist on staff to answer your questions.
  • Are licensed with a state board of pharmacy.

Another way to help ensure you are using a safe and legal online pharmacy is to check the pharmacy’s license in the country’s board of pharmacy license database by using the location tool on the FDA’s BeSafeRx website. If your online pharmacy is not listed, don’t use that pharmacy.

The Stigma Of Gout And The Mental Health Aspect Of It

Gout has been associated with excess for centuries and has been the subject of countless jokes. This embarrassment, along with the fear of another painful flare-up, can increase anxiety and put more stress on your body. Like other types of arthritis, the inflammation associated with gout is associated with a small risk of depression, especially in people who have frequent flare-ups.

If you are feeling down or depressed, don’t be shy to talk to your friends and family about gout. But keep in mind that regular exercise, restorative sleep and a healthy diet can improve your mood. 


Hopefully the information in this blog will enlighten you, and help get you on your way to quicker and more complete pain relief from your gout flare-ups in 2024. By the way,please let me know how some of these proven gout treatments are working for you, after you’ve in fact ordered it in the comments below, Thanks!

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