Gout is a type of arthritis wherein high levels of uric acid stay in the blood because the kidneys can no longer excrete the excess amounts. The usual symptoms are severe pain, heating up of the joints, nighttime attacks because of lower body temperature, discomfort that lasts for a few hours and subsides for weeks and even months, rashes and fever.
This condition is usually caused by poor lifestyle choices, genetics, gender, age, and other medical conditions.
Many treatments for gout are available to reduce inflammation.
Some of them are:
Proper diet can lower the levels of uric acid in the blood. Lifestyle changes and proper diet is important to achieve good uric acid levels in the blood. Taking sufficient fluids can help avoid high uric acid level that can cause gout attacks – liquids help prevent the accumulation of crystal precipitates in the blood.
- Avoid food will high-purine chemicals like meat, seafood and vegetables like lentils and beans.
- Excessive intakes of alcohol should also be avoided because it promotes a higher risk of gout arthritis.
- High-fructose food like corn syrup should not be taken excessively.
- Weight reduction can be helpful in lowering the risk of recurrent attacks of gout. This is best accomplished by reducing dietary fat and calorie intake, combined with a regular aerobic exercise program.
For chronic gout attacks, doctors may prescribe medication. This depends on the current health, family history and result of laboratory tests of the patient.
Some of the medications are:
- NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the first-line treatments that control pain and inflammation. Some types of NSAIDs are over-the-counter.
- Steriods and Cochicine are known alternative to NSAIDS and are known to prevent gout attacks.
- Corticosteroids also reduce the swelling of joints. A proper dosage of corticosteroid is given to patients who cannot take NSAIDs or Colchicine.
- Allopurinol is a medication that stops the production of uric acid. Thus, this could be considered as a preventive drug for gout arthritis.
- Probenecid, on the other hand, helps in the removal of uric acid from the blood.
- Other medications include adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), probenecid, sulfinpyrazone and many more.
- Analgesic painkillers are used in combination with other medications to ease the discomfort of attacks and to control the level of uric acid.
As mentioned, obesity is related to gout arthritis. Weight should always be controlled. Try a low fat diet and not a low calorie diet. Avoid crash diets or fasting. Exercise not only helps in weight reduction but in controlling gout attacks as well.
Although this condition is usually seen in older men and women, anyone can experience gout attacks. Knowing the symptoms and causes are important so we know how to avoid the inflammation of joints and control the uric acid level in the body. Frequent visits to your doctor and knowing your present health will prevent this condition.