How To Treat Gout?

For the treatment of gout, your healthcare provider will order diagnostic tests to do the necessary evaluation of gout symptoms. They will ask several questions regarding the symptoms, including how long you have been experiencing those, how frequently the gout flares occur, family history, lifestyle habits, etc. This will help them with the diagnosis.

Once the test reports of the diagnosis confirm the presence of gout, the healthcare provider will begin the treatment. The test reports will reveal the severity of the condition and the damage it has already caused to the joints.

The diagnostic evaluation suggested will include the following types of tests:

  • Blood sample tests
  • Joint fluid tests
  • X-ray imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • Dual-energy computerized tomography (DECT)

Treatment for gout

According to the Mayo Clinic website, the treatment will be given with medications. The healthcare provider will prescribe two types of medications for managing two separate conditions. The first type of medication will be given to alleviate the pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. It will also reduce the recurrence of gout flares and make gout attacks less frequent.

The medications that are used for alleviating gout flares and decreasing the frequency of gout attacks are as follows:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – These drugs can be prescription as well as non-prescription (OTC). They do carry some risks of side effects.
  • Colchicine – These drugs will reduce the intensity of pain and inflammation around the joints. They do come with several common side effects, which include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Corticosteroids – These medications will decrease the pain experienced in the joints and reduce inflammation. These drugs come in the form of pills and injections. They can also potentiate the risk of side effects such as blood pressure changes,blood sugar fluctuations, and mood swings.

If the condition has already done significant damage, then the healthcare provider will suggest medications that reduce the risk of gout-related complications and decrease the levels of uric acid in the blood. Such medications will work to reduce the production of uric acid from the purine and in addition, they will also help in eliminating the excess amounts of uric acid from the body. Moreover, these medications can also lead to some side effects like stomachache, rash, kidney stones, etc.

The types and doses of medications prescribed for the condition will depend on the severity and intensity of the symptoms. Also, the general health of the patient will be taken into consideration. When the person is already having some chronic health condition, then the medications assigned will be different.

Effective remedies to manage gout

  • Use ice packs – Applying ice on the affected joint willnumb the area and reduce swelling and inflammation. It can bring great relief from pain.
  • Drink plenty of water – Hydration is crucial for your kidneys to work optimally to remove the waste of toxins from the body. Uric acid is nothing but the waste that remains in the body and leads to gout. So, to increase the efficiency of the kidneys, one must keep themselves adequately hydrated.
  • Healthy diet – One must be very careful aboutone’s diet. Consuming foods that have high amounts of purine might potentiate their risk of gout flares, therefore, it is necessary to plan the diet accordingly.
  • Limit alcohol consumption – Alcohol may potentiate the person’s risk of gout. Therefore, it is necessary to drink it in moderation or it is even better if one gives up their drinking habit altogether or drink occasionally.
  • Manage stress – Psychological factors like stress and anxiety can worsen the symptoms of gout flares and increase the frequency of gout attacks. So, it is important to manage stress. To overcome stress, you can try many techniques such as meditation, yoga, exercise, leisure activities, etc. This will reduce the risk of gout flares.
  • Get enough rest – A good night’s sleep is a restorative activity. Going to bed on time and getting up at the same time regularly will be beneficial for your overall health.

What is the root cause of gout?

The person develops the symptoms of gout when the concentration of uric acid in the body rises to very high levels. Uric acid is metabolized from purine, which is a substance that is naturally present in the body. The body produces uric acid by processing purine. As the levels of purine rise in the body, the levels of uric acid also increase corresponding to that.

The purine levels in the body rise due to the excessive intake of foods and drinks that are rich sources of purine. After the breakdown of purine happens, the uric acid levels spike and its atoms bind together to form sharp, needle-shaped structures as they crystallize. These tiny crystals flow into the bloodstream and get lodged around the joints.

Their accumulation of these sharp, needle-like tiny crystals around the joints causes pain and inflammation in the joints. The inflammation leads to swelling and redness in the joints. The area turns warm and appears red. These are the indications that the person may have gout.

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