Gout is a complex form of widespread arthritis. Professor Carlo Selmi, Head of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in Humanitas, and a guest in a study in Buono a Sapersi on Rai Uno explained all about it.

Gout is a widespread inflammatory disease of joints. In Italy, about 1% of the population suffers from it, while in the United States the 4% is affected. It is triggered by high levels of uric acid in the blood. A component of the waste of the organism that is produced in excess or expelled insufficiently through the kidneys. Therefore, it is very important to promote proper secretion of this compound. By drinking for example at least 21/2 litres of water a day.

For patients suffering from gout, we recommend reducing purines from food. Thus, by minimizing, for example, the intake of red meat, bluefish and offal.
Dairy products with low-fat content are allowed and may even have a protective effect“, explained Professor Selmi.

The Symptoms of Gout

Uric acid values in the human blood should not exceed 7 mg/dl in men and 6.5 mg/dl in women.

However, men are more affected by gout than women who are more at risk after menopause.

The high values of uric acid are completely asymptomatic, while gout is very painful. It manifests with arthritis, swelling, pain and redness of an articulation, generally of the big toe. The onset is very fast and often happens during the night when our feet have a lower temperature. The pain is often such as to awaken those who suffer from it”, said the specialist.

How to cure gout?

“Acute episode therapy is based on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, on cortisones, and also on the use of a particular drug (colchicine) that acts on neutrophils, the most aggressive white blood cell population in the course of inflammation acute.

In the presence of more than one episodes of gouty arthritis a year, with high uric acid values, it is good to contact a specialist, who will suggest a pharmacological therapy to reduce the values of uric acid.

There are many perspectives of care thanks to the commitment of research in the field of inflammation. The most important inflammatory voice in gout is interleukin 1, a cytokine of the immune system that recalls other cells and creates an “unauthorized” set of autoimmune cells. In this sense, we now have organic drugs that can affect this cytokine and effectively extinguish inflammation”, concluded Professor Selmi.