Myth
Gout pain is not so bad.
Fact
Gout pain can be extremely severe, and some people have gout pain all the time. The pain is caused by tiny, sharp crystals building up under the skin. Gout is one of the most painful types of arthritis.

Myth
Gout only happens in people that drink too much alcohol or eat too much unhealthy food.
Fact
Although drinking alcohol or eating a diet high in purines can contribute to gout, most people do not get gout for these reasons alone. Instead, when someone has gout, their body does not use uric acid in the right way. Their body either creates too much uric acid, or cannot get rid of uric acid well enough.

Myth
Gout attacks only happen in the big toe.
Fact
The big toe is the most common place for gout attacks to happen, and many people have their first gout attack in their big toe. But gout can happen in all joints in the body including the hands, elbows, knees, and ankles. When people have chronic gout, often several of their joints are affected.

Myth
Gout is the same as arthritis.
Fact
Gout is a type of arthritis, but is a specific condition with unique treatments. There are many other types of arthritis that are treated differently. Gout is one of the most painful types of arthritis.

Myth
There is not much you can do to prevent gout attacks.
Fact
There are medicines that can prevent the buildup of uric acid in the blood, which can lead to fewer gout attacks in people who have chronic gout. There are also lifestyle changes people can make that can prevent future attacks.

Myth
You only have gout during an attack.
Fact
A gout attack is pain from urate crystals building up under the skin. You may have high levels of uric acid in your body in between attacks, but do not feel symptoms. This can lead to more gout attacks and other complications when left untreated.

Myth
Chronic gout is when someone has gout attacks all the time.
Fact
Chronic gout is considered having 2 or more gout attacks per year. Having chronic gout can lead to permanent joint stiffness, damage, and deformity, and attacks can increase in frequency over time. There are medicines used for chronic gout that can prevent gout attacks.

Myth
Gout only happens in men.
Fact
Anyone can get gout, including women. It is more common in men, but once women reach menopause, the rate of gout in men and women evens out.  Most women who develop gout show signs and symptoms after menopause.

Myth
It is impossible to have gout all the time.
Fact
Living with pain and gout symptoms can be almost constant for some people with chronic gout. Attacks happen more regularly, and in more joints, with only short breaks in between attacks. Some people feel symptoms of gout most of the time.