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Gout Treatment - What Are Your Options?

Gout is a form of arthritis, a very painful one, which is caused by excess uric acid build up in the body. Oftentimes, crystal deposits form in the joints. These deposits are referred to as tophi, which cause what appear to be lumps under the skin. Uric acid crystals can also build up in the kidneys, as well.

There are several options for treating gout. The most important thing to remember is that reducing the inflammation in the joints is key, as well as determining what long-term management works best. The most effective form of prevention of gout requires fluid intake, weight loss, dietary changes, discontinued use of alcohol, and possibly medications to lower uric acid levels in the blood. There are several medications available to help reduce inflammation, such as NSAIDs or colchine, and there are many dietary changes that can be made to aid in lowering uric acid levels in the body.

There are certain benefits to using NSAIDs; however, they are usually prescribed on a short-term basis. They work well to reduce uric acid levels, but there are many side effects to take into consideration. It has been determined that the use of NSAIDs can cause serious gastrointestinal issues, such as ulcers or bleeding, and it has, on occasion, been determined to damage the stomach lining, as well as the upper intestines. There have also been issues with heart failure if not taken properly. Most NSAIDs are prescribed at a low dose to limit the amount of side effects.

A dietary lifestlye change can also be very beneficial. Purine chemicals turn into uric acid. Therefore, omitting purine-rich foods from the diet can reduce the chance of uric acid building up. These foods include meat, eggs, certain fish, sugar, coffee, tea, products made from wheat flour, canned food, or processed food. A diet rich in dairy products helps reduce the risk of a flare-up, and as unusual as it sounds, it has been found that purine-rich vegetables are not associated to increased risk of uric acid buildup.

One of the biggest considerations in treating gout is weight loss. Combined with healthy aerobic exercise, weight loss can be very helpful in lowering the risk of gout attacks.

Home remedies have become a good source for lowering the risk of gout attacks, whether they are used alone or in conjunction with medication. Applying a hemorrhoid cream to the painful joints can often reduce the inflammation. Citric acid is a solvent of uric acid and some people find that increased amounts of vitamin C are effective in preventing and curing sore joints, as it strengthens the surrounding tissue of the joint. There are many fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C from which to choose, whether it be in whole or juice form.

In the event of a gout attack, it is important to rest. The affected joint(s) should be elevated. Ice packs or cold compresses can aid in reducing inflammation, and all stress to the body should be eliminated.

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