Champlain Valley Orthopedics
1436 Exchange Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
Urate crystals over the joint surfaces set up an inflammatory response. Joint destruction can occur. By the time a gouty flare-up occurs, microscopic damage has already been done.
Measuring the blood level of urate helps identify the patient's baseline and gives a goal for treatment. Studies show that deposits in the joint rarely clear up when the serum urate level is seven (7 mg/dL) or more.
The goal is to reduce this below six (below five is even better). Levels 10 or higher indicate the gout is getting worse. Urate levels of eight or nine reflect a slower progression of disease.
Lowering serum urate levels can be done with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Patients are still advised to reduce calories and alcohol intake. High-sugar fast foods are to be avoided. Finding the right medication and most effective dosage can be a challenge but is a very important part of controlling the disease and its destructive effects.Peter A. Simkin, MD. Addressing Problems in Gout and Hyperuricemia. In The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. August 2006. Vol. 23. No. 8. Vol. 23. No. 8 Pp.538-553.
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