Following a positive diagnosis of gout, it is important that an individual is aware of the treatment options as this will help manage gout. Gout is a type of disease that is arthritic in nature, and usually manifests itself when the concentration of uric acid is elevated in the blood. This could be due to excessive intake of foods that contain uric acid or situations where the body is unable to effectively get rid of the uric acid present. The resultant effects will be seen due to inflammation at the joints. There are two types of gout: acute gout that affects only one joint as well as chronic gout that occurs repetitively and which may cause inflammation of more than one joint.
Signs and Symptoms of Gout
Knowing the symptoms of this condition is imperative to properly manage gout. Listed below are some of the traits which characterize this painful condition.
- Select joints are affected, with the most common including the knee joint, ankle joint as well as big toe joint.
- The pain often strikes suddenly, with many patients describing it as excruciating in nature. This pain worsens at night.
- The skin that covers the specific joint tends to be tender and will usually be swollen. So sensitive is the area that patients with this disease opt not to cover themselves as the blankets cause pain.
- In some cases, gout is accompanied by fever.
- Episodes of pain may disappear after few days and will often recur especially in chronic gout.
There are a number of ways in which one can manage gout. The first step to be taken into consideration is to know how to relieve the symptoms of the disease. This will incorporate various methods, and the first of these is taking care of oneself. During an episode of gout, it is important to stay at rest and avoid moving about as this could cause more damage to the joint area. Using an icepack on the affected joint will also help. Medication is yet another way in which one can effectively learn how to live with gout. Painkillers, specifically those which are non-steroidal in nature are preferred as an initial line of reference. They work to reduce the pain and inflammation at the affected joint. Some of the NSAIDs used as treatment for gout include: diclofenac, naproxen and etoricoxib.
It is vital to note that such medication must always be prescribed alongside a Proton Pump Inhibitor (abbreviated PPi) in order to reduce the chances of ulcer formation. When such medication is not effective to manage gout, the physician will recommend the use of corticosteroids in controlled doses. It is impossible to talk about gout management without making mention of lifestyle changes. Avoid the intake of foods that are rich in purines as they trigger flare ups of gout episodes. Losing weight so that one has a healthy BMI value means that there will be less uric acid in circulation, thus reducing the chances of developing the condition. Regular exercise is also crucial when talking about how to manage gout.