Gout Treatment

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Gout Treatment:

Treatment for gout usually involves medications. What medications you and your doctor choose will be based on your current health and your own preferences. Medications for gout include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs may control inflammation and pain in people with gout. NSAIDs include over-the-counter options such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others), as well as more powerful prescription NSAIDs. NSAIDs carry risks of stomach pain, bleeding and ulcers.

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  • Colchicine Colchicine controls gout effectively, but may cause uncomfortable side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you're unable to take NSAIDs, your doctor may recommend colchicine.
  • Steroids 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.

  • Gout Treatment . . . PREVENTION:

    . . . Medications
    If you experience several gout attacks each year or if your gout attacks are less frequent but particularly painful, your doctor may recommend medication to reduce your risk of future gout attacks. You usually begin taking preventive medications once your acute gout attack has subsided. Options include:

  • Medication that blocks uric acid production Allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim) limits the amount of uric acid your body makes. This may lower your blood's uric acid level and reduce your risk of gout. Side effects include a rash and low blood counts.
  • Medication that improves uric acid removal Probenecid improves your kidneys' ability to remove uric acid from your body. This may lower your uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout, but the level of uric acid in your urine is increased. Side effects include a rash, stomach pain and kidney stones.

  • . . . Diet
    No specific dietary changes are proved to reduce your risk of gout. However, it may make sense to eat foods that contain fewer purines. If you want to try a gout diet, try to:

  • Cut back on the amount of red meat and seafood you eat.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat more low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads.

  • Choose portions that allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight may decrease uric acid levels in your body. But avoid fasting or rapid weight loss, since doing so may temporarily raise uric acid levels.

    Gout Treatment . . . What you can do:

    Take care of your body during a gout attack. While you're waiting for your medications to take effect, you may find it easier to cope with pain and inflammation if you:

  • Reduce the amount of animal protein you eat Government guidelines advise eating no more than 5 to 6 ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish a day for nearly everyone — especially people who have gout, because high-protein foods increase the blood level of uric acid. Organ meats (liver, brains, kidney and sweetbreads), anchovies, herring and mackerel are particularly high in purines.
  • Avoid alcohol Alcohol can inhibit the excretion of uric acid. If you're having a gout attack, it's best to avoid alcohol completely.
  • Drink plenty of liquids Fluids help dilute uric acid in your blood and urine, so be sure you get enough water and other fluids every day.

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