Gout Treatment: What You Need To Know

Intense joint pain, inflammation characterized by redness and tenderness in the joints, and lingering discomfort for days on end. When you have these symptoms, you must consider effective gout treatment to alleviate your pain, ward off future attacks, and generally get your health issues in control.

Gout is not something to be messed with, so to speak, especially when complications (i.e., recurrent gout, advanced gout and kidney stones) happen. The earlier you can adopt appropriate treatment options, the better your prognosis for good health. Seek medical attention as soon as you experience the first signs of gout particularly when you have fever and/or your joint feels hot because these are signs of infection.

Prescription Medications

Doctors usually determine the most effective gout treatment protocol based on the individual patient’s age, present physical condition and personal preferences. Be prepared for a thorough medical evaluation before your doctor prescribes anti-gout medications including the specific dosages. These medications, nonetheless, are formulated to treat acute attacks, lessen complications from gout, and prevent recurrences so it is important to follow your doctor’s orders on this matter for better health.

These medications include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can control pain and inflammation. Usually, you will take a higher dose to stop the symptoms of an acute attack and then progress to a lower dose for the prevention of recurrences. Side effects include bleeding, ulcers and stomach pain.
  • Colchicine is prescribed when NSAIDs are untenable in your case. It is effective when started as soon as the symptoms appear but its side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can offset the benefit.
  • Corticosteroids can control pain and inflammation, too, said drug of which can be administered either through oral or injected means. These drugs have side effects, too, including thinning bones, decreased immune system ability, and poor wound healing.

For a well-rounded gout treatment protocol, your doctor may also prescribe medications to control the complications of gout. These include drugs to block uric acid production and/or to improve uric acid excretion.

Warning: Don’t take medications without your doctor’s approval. You may be worsening your symptoms for several reasons including drug interactions.

Healthy Lifestyle

All of the abovementioned medications are of little to no use when your lifestyle habits counteract the positive effects. Think of it this way: Medications have short-term effects in controlling the symptoms of gout but your lifestyle habits have long-term impact on your health.

Even your doctor will recommend the following healthy lifestyle habits as part of your gout treatment:

  • Drink 8 to 16 glasses of water and fruit juices every day. Alcohol is a no-no.
  • Eat a moderate amount of plant-based protein while limiting meat-based protein to just 4 to 6 ounces. Low-fat or fat-free dairy, eggs and tofu are allowed.
  • Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Canned, packaged and processed foods contain ingredients that can worsen your gout attacks’ severity, frequency and duration.

Most important, you should maintain your healthy body weight but avoid unhealthy weight loss methods like fasting and taking diet pills because these can raise uric levels. Ultimately, the best gout treatment for your case depends on your ability to keep your body as healthy as possible.

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