Gout Center of Excellence

Gout Center of Excellence

Gout: The Right Treatment, Right Away

The Gout Center of Excellence (GCOE) at Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates (ARA) aims to provide prompt relief and create an individualized treatment plan to prevent future flares.

What is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that develops in some people who have high uric acid in the body. It can cause sudden pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the joints.  It most often affects the big toe, but can also affect other joints like the ankles, knees, wrists, elbows, and hands.

What causes gout?

Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints and the body. Some of the foods we eat are normally broken down into uric acid. These foods, such as alcohol, red meat, shellfish, organ meats, and high fructose corn syrup, can contribute to gout flares. But while these foods can cause flare-ups of gout pain, they are not the biggest cause of chronic gout. High uric acid builds up at least partially because the body has a hard time getting rid of the uric acid. Much of this is controlled by genetics, but alcohol can make it worse. High uric acid is also associated with other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Managing gout with the right treatment plan is very important: untreated gout can lead to high uric acid levels in the blood and cause joint and tendon inflammation. In addition to causing pain, inflammation can cause damage to the joints themselves. High uric acid levels can be damaging to the body even when you are not having a painful flare. In severe cases, it can affect vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, and eyes.

How is gout treated?

The rheumatologists at the ARA GCOE will develop a personalized treatment plan for you, which may include medication, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, or interventional procedures.

At the GCOE, we know the importance of seeing a patient experiencing a gout flare as soon as possible. Our commitment is to see gout patients who are flaring within 3 business days.

How to schedule an appointment?

If you’re experiencing sudden joint pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the absence of trauma, contact the ARA GCOE for superior gout care. 

To schedule an appointment, call 301-942-7600. Be sure to inform your scheduler that you are experiencing a gout flare.

ARA has several convenient locations in Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.

A referral is not needed unless required by insurance.

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