How long does gout flare up last?

Many gout sufferers ask how long does gout flare up last.

The short answer is three to five days. But it’s really up to you. Because you can make it last several weeks. Or, you can shorten gout flare duration to two hours.

it depends on too many different factors:

  • How long since your first gout flare?
  • How many gout flares have you had?
  • Are you treating uric acid to get it lower?
  • What gout pain medicines are you taking?

Those are the main factors, but many other things affect the length of a flare. What you must not do is ignore the gout flare, and hope that it goes away.

Gout Flare Up Duration with Untreated Gout

Gout never goes away, though it can be easily controlled. If you do not control gout, it gets worse. Hence, my first two questions above. If you have had many gout flares over several years, then they will tend to last longer. You might be lucky, and only suffer for a few days, but on average, flares will last longer unless you control gout.

Gout Flare Up Duration with Uric Acid Lowering Treatment

There is only one way to control gout. You must lower uric acid to 5mg/dL or below. After a few weeks, old uric acid crystals will have mainly been dissolved. But during the time you start lowering uric acid until most old uric acid crystals have dissolved (the uric acid debulking period), you may get gout flares. That is why I ask if you are taking uric acid lowering treatment. If you are, this might cause some gout flares at first. As long as your dose of allopurinol or Uloric is strong enough, the gout flare should only last 2 or 3 days.

Discussions in the gout forum tell us that incorrect allopurinol dosing is one of the worst causes of prolonged gout flare up. What often happens is that allopurinol dose is not high enough to get uric acid down to the safe maximum level of 5mg/dL. You can find yourself in a terrible situation where uric acid crystals start to dissolve. This causes old crystals to be seen by the immune system, starting a gout flare. Because the uric acid level is not low enough, old crystals do not fully dissolve, and new ones can form. This situation causes constant gout flare ups as uric acid crystals start to dissolve and reform. The only answer to this is to get uric acid down to 5. Indeed, it is much better to aim lower than 5 for several months. Low levels (say 2 to 3) minimize the debulking period and minimize the duration of gout flares.

If you are taking the right dose, with uric acid safely at 5 or below, you will find that gout flares last less as the days pass. They become less intense and less frequent.

Gout Flare Up Duration with Pain Relief

If you are getting the right pain relief, then gout flares should not last more than two days. With practice, you should be able to treat a gout flare so it only lasts a few hours at most. The key to controlling gout flares is tackling the inflammation properly. For the worst gout flares, you will need a three-line treatment combo.

The first line is stopping inflammation spreading. The second line is reducing inflammation. The third line is blocking pain. See Pain Freedom for full details.

Is Your Gout Flare Lasting Too Long?

How long does gout flare up last?

Depending on your answers to my questions above, gout flare up can last from a few hours to many weeks or months. Eventually, if you do not control uric acid, you will be in permanent pain.

There are many ways to control uric acid, including lifestyle changes, pharmaceuticals, and natural gout medicines. I can help you find a combination that is right for you, but you have to know your uric acid level. If you want help in stopping gout flare up, get a blood test from your doctor, and share your uric acid test results in the gout support forum.

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Medical Disclaimer: The pupose of GoutPal is to provide jargon-free explanations of medical gout-related terms and procedures. Because gout sufferers need to know what questions to ask their doctor. Also, you need to understand what your doctor tells you. So this website explains gout science. But it is definitely NOT a substitute for medical advice.

Information on this website is provided by a fellow gout sufferer (Keith Taylor) with an accountant's precision for accurate data. But no medical qualifications. So you must seek professional medical advice about gout and any other health matters.

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