Gout occurs when there are abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood and tissues. Uric acid is one of the waste products of the body. Normal values of uric acid range from 250 to 750 milligrams per 24 hours. This is a common and painful condition that affects the joints. Small crystals form in and around the joint, causing inflammation, pain and swelling.
Treatment for Gout
There is no permanent cure for gout. Gout usually has a tendency to recur. It might be a several months before gout strikes again. But without proper management, the attacks will become more frequent and more intense over a period of time. Treatment of gout is targeted at pain relief during an acute attack of gout, management of symptoms in order to prevent further attacks and to prevent complications like formation of tophi or permanent joint destruction. Treatment of gout is based on a few guidelines as follows:
Use of medicines to reduce the pain and swelling of joints
During an attack of gout there is intense pain and swelling of joints. The joints are red and inflamed. The pain in the joints can be so intense that slightest touch can cause aggravation of the pain. During an attack of gout, NSAIDS or non steroid anti inflammatory drugs is the first line of treatment. NSAIDS are initially prescribed at maximum dosage and reduced as symptoms subside. The doctor may also prescribe corticosteroids to some patients who cannot take NSAIDS. The physician may also prescribe pain killers as the person suffers intense pan during a gout attack.
Avoid the intake of purine rich foods
Foods such as liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas and tomatoes are high in their purine content. Excessive consumption of these foods causes elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. This leads to a gout attack. Hence a person who suffers from this condition must avoid the intake of purine rich foods.
Treat high blood pressure
Gout attacks are often associated with high blood pressure. Hence maintaining blood pressure within the normal range is necessary to prevent a gout attacks.
Treat associated symptoms like kidney stones
Increased levels of uric acid often lead to formation of kidney stones. Hence it is important to treat the associated symptoms.
Avoid or cut down on alcohol intake
Gout attacks are linked to heavy drinking. Alcoholic drinks like beer and wine are high in their purine content. Hence it is important to avoid alcohol completely during an attack of gout.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day
It is important for a person suffering from gout t maintain adequate fluid levels in the body. Dehydration causes fluid imbalance in the body and may lead to a gout attack. Hence people affected by gout must drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily and avoid being dehydrated.
Regular exercise is necessary for weight control
Obese people are at an increased risk of suffering from a gout attack. Hence these people must exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy body weight.