Primary Idiopathic gout

What else is it called?

  • Gout

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What causes it?

Primary Idiopathic gout is an inflammatory condition which can arise spontaneously from errors in metabolism. Gout can be a hallmark of other genetic condition such as, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome.  It can be due to under or overexcretion of uric acid caused by specific metabolic defects. Therefore, there is no specific gene mutation that causes this condition, it will most likely be specific to the metabolic condition.

This conditions mechanism works by dispositioning urate crystals found in joints; this is associated with the pain that this condition presents. Symptoms can vary per individual.

How common is it?

In most countries, the prevalence of gout is around 1% for the entire population. The prevalence of gout from metabolic conditions is unclear.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Lifestyle factors, such as obesity, have been shown to render this condition more. Your age also has an impact on whether you are likely to get gout or not, as some metabolic conditions worsen with age. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of gout are:

  • Arthritis
  • Painful big toe
  • Hypertension
  • Painful joints

How is it diagnosed?

Measuring uric acid contents in urine is essential in diagnosing this a metabolic condition. Gout occurs when urate is greater than 0.42 mmol/l in the blood, this can be checked via a blood test. After urate metabolism via the urea cycle, uric acid levels will be elevated and be presented in higher concentrations in urine samples than without gout. This may be diagnosed secondary to a metabolic condition diagnosis.

Can it be treated?

Metabolic defects can potentially be treated and thereby this may treat the gout. There are other methods to treat gout. Changing the foods you consume may benefit your experience of gout by lowing the level of urate in your body. Beer intake has been shown to increase the likelihood of gout symptoms, there has been no effect with wine. Fish and meat products have also been shown to render bouts of gout as well. Low fat dairy products have also shown to lower urate levels in the blood. It may be helpful to speak to your doctor about being referred to a dietitian for more education on what foods cause gout and or can worsen symptoms of gout.

Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs can also be commenced upon diagnosis. Some of these drugs may include; Naproxen or indomethacin. These drugs may help with the pain experienced with this condition however this will not cue gout, it should be viewed a symptomatic treatment option.

Do my family need to be tested?

Testing for primary idiopathic gout depends on the condition from which the condition comes from.  This could be autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant inheritance for example. For more information on the inheritance pattern of these conditions please see the individual summaries of these conditions at:

Relevant Organisations


References are available on request. Please contact Helen Morris by phoning 0845 241 2173 or emailing [Resource Library No: AAP002].

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