Though gout treatment is most often treated successfully and without complications, it becomes more of a challenge if other conditions exist along with gout or if there is poor patient compliance to recommended lifestyle changes or a medication regimen.
Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas (both wrapped in a towel) to the joint for 20 minutes to help reduce the swelling, and then take it off. You should not apply ice directly to your skin as it can give you an ‘ice burn’. You can reapply the ice pack after the temperature of the joint has returned to normal.
Life style changes such as weight control, limiting alcohol consumption, and limiting meals with meats and fish rich in purines can also be helpful in controlling gout.
Take a nonprescription anti-inflammatory. Inflammation causes swelling, which worsens pain. Both ibuprofen and aspirin are anti-inflammatory, but when taken at low levels, aspirin may actually make the pain worse, so reach for the ibuprofen when treating gout.
Drinking black cherry juice. Black cherry juice, available at health food stores, may prevent attacks and shorten acute attacks according to claims from others with gout. Black cherry extract is also available in tablet form. This is not the same as cherry drinks containing low percentages of cherry juice or artificial cherry flavor.
Steroid medications, such as the drug prednisone may control gout inflammation and pain. Steroids may be administered in pill form, or they can be injected into your joint. Side effects of steroids may include thinning bones, poor wound healing and a decreased ability to fight infection. Steroids may be reserved for people who can’t take either NSAIDs or colchicine.
Avoid or restrict foods high in purine (a substance that produces uric acid when broken down). These foods include: sardines, anchovies, brains, liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads, tongue, shellfish (mussels and oysters), fish roe, scallops, peas, lentils, beans and an excessive amount of red meat.
To stop a gout attack quickly, your doctor can prescribe a large daily dose of one or more medicines. The doses will get smaller as your symptoms go away. Relief from a gout attack often begins within 24 hours if you start treatment right away.
Alcohol can reduce the release of uric acid by the kidneys into your urine, causing an increase of uric acid in your body. Beer, which is rich in purines, appears to be worse than some other beverages that contain alcohol.
Cold hands and feet can precipitate an attack of gout. Try to keep your hands and feet warm, and take extra care to cover your hands and feet during cold winter months.
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