Acute gout is the result of the excess of uric acid formation on the joints. It leads to excruciating pain and inflammation of the joints. The appropriate treatment should be a combination of medications and natural remedies.
Caused by the elevated levels of uric acid in the body, acute gout manifests itself in acute inflammatory attacks of the joints. This is usually the result of the formation of uric acid crystals in the body which in turn causes the inflammation and swelling of the joints.
Acute Gout Causes
High levels of uric acid in the body, also referred to as hyperuricemia, is the primary cause of acute gout in people. The excess uric acid levels in the body can be related to a range of factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, a diet consisting of alcohol, sugar, seafood, meat, and even obesity. Medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, renal disorders, and sickle cell anemia can result in gout as well. Leukemia, renal failure, and metabolic syndrome are some of the common causes for acute gout. Certain medications, such as hydrochlorothiazide, are known to be the cause of acute gout.
Treatment of Acute Gout
For treating acute gouty arthritis, the doctor may recommend certain medications. This is based on the health of the individual and his/her preferences. There are essentially two types of medications for treating gout. They are classified under reliever and preventive medications. While NSAIDs and Colchicine are some of the common reliever medications for treating the health problem, preventive medications lower the levels of uric acid in the body and prevent the disease in the long run.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): To reduce the swelling and the intense pain associated with gout, high doses of NSAIDs may be prescribed by the doctor. Once the gout is cured, lower doses are prescribed to prevent future attacks. The common over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen such as Motrin and Advil and naproxen such as Aleve. The acute cases of gout may require stronger doses of NSAIDs such as Indocin. Please keep in mind that NSAIDs may cause bleeding, ulcers, and stomach pain. Pregnant women may want to consult their doctors before taking any of the over-the-counter NSAIDs.
Colchicine: Although NSAIDs continue to remain the preferred choice for the treatment of acute gout, in certain cases, colchicine, a type of pain reliever that effectively reduces gout pain, may be recommended by the doctor. Remember that colchicine may result in side effects such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Corticosteroids: In case the NSAIDs and colchicine fail to treat the gout, corticosteroids such as prednisone may be used as a treatment for acute gout. The steroids can either be directly injected into the inflamed joints or taken in a pill form. The common side effects include poor wound healing, decreased immunity, and thinning bones.
Preventive Gout Medications: Medications which reduce the uric acid formation in the body are known as preventive drugs for gout. Allopurinol, febuxostat (Uloric), and probenecid are some of the most common preventive medications that are used for eliminating the excess uric acid levels in the body. It is important to keep in mind that allopurinol can result in side effects like stomach pain, headache, diarrhea, and rash. In this case, stop the use of the drugs and consult a doctor immediately.
Lifestyle and Diet Changes: There are certain changes in lifestyle and diet that can help prevent a gout attack. Avoid a diet which contains foods rich in purines. This inhibits the uric acid formation after the metabolism of the food. The common purine rich foods include fish, seafood, yeast and yeast extracts, peas, beans, lentils, asparagus, mushrooms, and meat/meat extracts. Include at least six to eight glasses of water each day and avoid alcohol.
Gout usually attacks the joints and causes excruciating and throbbing pain. The joints are quite tender and inflamed. The acute gout cases can lead to joint deformities and loss of motion in the joints. Proper and timely treatment is necessary, especially when you have had several attacks in the year.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.