Skip Navigation Bar
NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

Detecting and Treating Gout

True or False: What Do You Know About Gout?

  1. _____ All people who have high levels of uric acid have gout.
  2. _____ Pain in the joints caused by gout comes and goes.
  3. _____ The most important goal of medications that treat gout is to reduce swelling in the joints.
  4. _____ Drinking too much alcohol affects the body’s ability to get rid of uric acid.
  5. _____ Eating shellfish and liver can raise your uric acid levels.


  1. Answer: False. Gout is caused when the body’s immune system attacks uric acid crystals in the joints. In some people, extra uric acid does not form crystals in the joints.
  2. Answer: True. Attacks of inflammation in the joints due to gout usually last for a few days and improve on their own.
  3. Answer: False. The most important goal of gout medications is to control the severe pain of gout attacks. Treatment of gout also aims to prevent more attacks and prevent the formation of new tophi and kidney stones.
  4. Answer: True. It is hard for the body to get rid of uric acid if too much alcohol is consumed.
  5. Answer: True. Organ meats and shellfish are high in purines. Since the body produces uric acid out of purines, eating these meats can raise uric acid levels. Eating sardines, mushrooms, and dried beans can also raise uric acid levels.

— Patient Education Institute


Read More "Detecting and Treating Gout" Articles

Detecting and Treating Gout / Gout: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treament / Gout: Personal Stories / Gout: History, Research, and Recent NIH–Supported Advances / True or False: What Do You Know About Gout?

Winter 2012 Issue: Volume 6 Number 4 Page 21