How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated?

How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated reviews the science of the natural progress of gout attacks. That is, how long can a gout attack last if you do not take pain relief.

How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated Audience

I wrote How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated for anyone who wants to understand gout better. Though it does not help any specific program for different types of gout sufferer. However, a better understanding of basic principles helps all gout recovery plans.

How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated Introduction

You might be aware that I usually explain facts about resources for gout sufferers. Then, I conclude with suggestions how you might apply those facts to adapt resources to your personal situation. But, for gout duration questions, there are too many variables to consider. Because most of the factors that set how long gout takes are up to you.

Especially in this case, where we are looking at allowing gout to end naturally. Because it is extremely rare for any gout sufferer to make no effort to limit gout pain. However, if you are in a situation where you cannot get treatment, the following information might help.

Untreated Gout Duration Studies

As you can imagine, it is rare for gout sufferers to volunteer for no treatment during a gout attack. However, there are two independent studies from 1989 that show gout resolving naturally when untreated. Firstly, an Australian study of colchicine uses a placebo to test untreated acute gout for 2 days[1]. Secondly, a British study is a direct investigation of volunteers who agreed to try to endure an untreated gout attack for one week[2].

How Long Can Untreated Gout Last?

In the colchicine trial, one-third of patients taking placebo experienced a 50% improvement in pain after 2 days. So, though this was half the success rate of the colchicine group, it shows untreated gout can resolve naturally in 2 days. But, as this was a fixed 2-day trial, we don’t know the upper limit.

However, the untreated gout attack study lasted 7 days. So this gives us a range of days, despite different criteria being used. Because this study reports 18% improved gout pain in 2 days, with 100% in 5 days. Therefore we can see that gout pain resolves naturally in 2 to 5 days. But, that is not the full story.

In addition to gout pain, we suffer tenderness, redness, swelling, and heat. All of which cause discomfort. So, we cannot truly say that a gout attack has ended after 5 days. Because patients in the second study continued to experience some discomfort after 7 days.

In conclusion, these reports prove that acute gout will resolve naturally if untreated. So, it is recognized as a self-limiting disease. But putting an exact time on the duration of untreated gout is impossible. So a range of 2 to 5 days for most gout sufferers is the nearest we can get. Hence, we should consider a recent review of managing acute gout[3]. Where Scheslinger concludes:

The initial attacks are usually self-limiting, but recurrent acute attacks tend to become more frequent and prolonged.

Furthermore, recent research confirms[4]:

that higher uric acid levels and longer disease duration link with frequent gout attacks.

So, if you do not treat the underlying cause of gout, attacks will eventually merge into each other. Making it impossible to tell where one attack stops, and the next one starts.

How long for Your Gout to End Naturally?

How long will Your Untreated Gout Last?

Now that you know untreated gout resolves naturally in 2 to 5 days, you might be tempted to avoid any form of gout treatment. But even if you can cope with gout pain now, will you be able to when it gets worse and you are older?

So, if you are having a gout attack now, it is nice to know it will end soon. But, in any case, you need to stop gout permanently by getting uric acid safe. Because that ensures you never have to worry about gout attacks in future. Therefore talk to your doctor now. Or ask for more ways you can cut the time that gout lasts.

Leave How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated to read more Resources for Gout Sufferers.

How Long Does Gout Last If Untreated References

  1. Ahern, M. J., C. Reid, T. P. Gordon, M. McCREDlE, P. M. Brooks, and M. Jones. “Does colchicine work? The results of the first controlled study in acute gout.” Internal Medicine Journal 17, no. 3 (1987): 301-304. Does Colchicine Work PDF.
  2. Bellamy, N., W. W. Downie, and W. W. Buchanan. “Observations on spontaneous improvement in patients with podagra: implications for therapeutic trials of non?steroidal anti?inflammatory drugs.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 24.1 (1987): 33-36. Natural History of Acute Gouty Arthritis PDF.
  3. Schlesinger, Naomi. “Treatment of acute gout.” Rheumatic Disease Clinics 40.2 (2014): 329-341. Treatment Of Acute Gout PDF.
  4. Abhishek, Abhishek, Ana M. Valdes, Weiya Zhang, and Michael Doherty. “Association of Serum Uric Acid and Disease Duration With Frequent Gout Attacks: A Case–Control Study.” Arthritis care & research 68, no. 10 (2016): 1573-1577.

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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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