An attack of Gout occurs when the body has an excess of uric acid, which then crystallises and settles in the joints causing arthritis and extreme pain. Although the affliction of gout has been documented for centuries, sufferers generally had to wait out an attack, which could take weeks. Modern medical research has since come up with many effective ways to eliminate the uric acid crystals and therefore the pain without having to wait for it to run its course.
- Skill level:
Begin taking a course of anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. A doctor can prescribe a higher dose than is available over the counter if needed. Continue taking anti-inflammatories until the attack has passed or your doctor recommends other treatment.
Drink a lot of water, but reduce any alcohol intake, which can slow down elimination of uric acid from the blood.
Alter your diet to eliminate certain foods such as those rich in purines and protein that contribute to uric acid production. These include red meat, organ meats, fatty fish, dried beans and asparagus.
Get a prescription from your doctor for Allopurinal, which will decrease the production of uric acid and help dissolve the existing crystals. This should be a last resort, when diet and anti-inflammatories are not effective as there are several complicating side effects.
Tips and warnings
- Rest your afflicted joint and keep it uncovered as much as possible to aid in healing.
- A suspected attack of Gout should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor to determine the severity and the correct course of treatment. Leaving recurring attacks untreated can cause permanent damage to the kidneys.
- If you are on a daily aspirin treatment when a Gout attack occurs, discontinue use until speaking to your doctor.
- Do not apply either cold or heat during a Gout attack as either treatment can worsen the condition.
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