Sep 2, 2016

5 Ways to Ease a Gout Attack

five-ways-to-ease-gout-attack

If you have gout, you know what it’s like to suffer from a flare up. Also known as gouty arthritis, a gout attack begins with a burning or itching feeling in your joints. The next sign is redness, swelling, or severe pain in the joint. This is caused by a build up of uric acid around the joint, which forms uncomfortable uric crystals. This condition can be so painful that anything touching the joint—even a bedsheet—can cause severe pain.

If you are suffering from a gout attack or flare up, you don’t need to agonize alone or in silence. There are a few things you can do to ease the pain and prevent a future flare up.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

There are a number of over-the-counter treatments that can help relieve the pain caused by a gout attack. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lower uric acid levels and treat episodes of inflammation. Some good choices include Aleve, Motrin, and Advil and, when taken in prescription doses, can be very effective. Contact Carolina Arthritis for guidance and to learn more about this strategy for your gout attacks.

Diet and Drink  

There are a number of dietary and lifestyle changes that can assist in the recovery. Foods that are high in purines (some seafood, organ meats like liver, and fatty foods) can increase the uric acid in your blood and trigger a gout flare up. Fructose-sweetened drinks and alcohol, especially beer, can have a similar affect. If you’re suffering from gout, limiting your intake of these foods is a great place to start. You should also make an effort to drink more water. Allowing yourself to become dehydrated can cause your uric acid levels rise. Drinking more water will help keep things at a normal level.

Ice, Elevate, and Relax

As long as the pain isn’t too extreme, a cold compression or ice pack applied gently to the area can help ease the inflammation. For the most effective treatment, ice the joint for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day and keep the affected area elevated. Another trigger for gout is stress. While a gout flare up can put you on edge, it’s important to keep calm and do your best to relax. Try watching a movie, reading a favorite book, or catching up with a friend to keep your mind off things.

Steroids

If you can’t take over-the-counter drugs or if they are not effective, you can try steroid drug prednisone instead. Prednisone is usually given by orally for two weeks, with less given each day in order to ween the patient off. If you’re hospitalized, it can also be given intravenously.

Make an Appointment with Carolina Arthritis

There are a number of different gout-specific medications, such as Colchicine, Allopurinol, and Probenecid, and it can be tricky to figure out which one is best for you. This is why we recommend making an appointment with Carolina Arthritis. Our team of specialized doctors can meet with you to discuss your specific situation and create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to you. Don’t wait for your next gout attack—contact us today and get the relief you need today.