Gout Treatment – Lessening the Pain of Gout
Gout, also known as, “gouty arthritis”, is one of the types of inflammatory arthritis. It is more common in men, but can affect women, as well. Gout normally begins in the joints of the great toe and then spreads to other joints in the body.
Gout produces a lot of pain that may even disable a person if left untreated. It is important to see a physician promptly if symptoms of gout occur, in order to, lessen the severity and progression of the disease. It is also important to seek medical care for recurring gout flare-ups. If treatment is not started promptly, damage can occur to the joints.
Tips for lessening the pain of gout:
- Keep the affected area elevated as much as possible. You can slow down the blood flow to the joint by aid of gravity. This in turn helps reduce inflammation and pain.
- Keep movement to the joint to a minimum. Rest and possibly even splinting the joint will help it heal. Avoid deep flexing or repetitive movements to the joints.
- Unlike other types of inflammation, do not apply ice or heat to the affected area. Ice increases the formation of uric acid crystals. Heat speeds up circulation to the area and causes excess white blood cells to accumulate, increasing inflammation. These methods may bring temporary relief to symptoms, but will only make the condition worse.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Elevated Uric acid levels in gout can aid in the formation of kidney stones. This would be another unpleasant condition to deal with on top of the pain of gout. It is of utmost importance to stay very well hydrated with gout.
- Gout sufferers also need to stay at a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the joints and increases pain. Excess consumption of foods that contain purine also leads to flares. Just remember to eat a balanced healthy diet, don’t skip meals and watch intake of high protein foods and alcohol. Beer is very high in purines and will cause excess uric acid. Also keep intake of high-yeast foods to a minimum.
- Since gout affects the great toe, it is helpful to have comfortable shoes. You will need extra room for the toes now. Square or pointed toe shoes will cause excessive pain for the gout sufferer. High heeled, narrow and tight shoes will also cause discomfort.
- Use all medications as directed by your physician. Narcotic pain medications may alleviate symptoms but are not effective in controlling the actual disease. NSAIDS, steroids and non-narcotic pain relief are the mainstay of treatment.
After you have been diagnosed with gout you may experience an increase in blood pressure. This, in addition to, increased uric acid can cause harm to the kidneys and joints. The pain of gout can also increase blood pressure. This is why it is of utmost to see a physician early on. Gout pain can be managed with early detection, good diet and lifestyle practices.
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