No permanent or complete cure for gout exists, but you can do much to control the severity of your pain during a gout attack, shorten the attack’s duration, and prevent it from occurring again in the future.
The pain of a major attack can be controlled with large dosages of NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Corticosteroid medication can be directly injected into the joint. Improvement is seen in just a few hours and the joint is completely normal again within days. The treatment works best if it begun quickly after a gout attack has happened.
If NSAIDS do not work, your doctor may try colchicine. It is given intravenously or through the mouth. A side effect of colchicine is diarrhea. It works best if given in 12 hours from the start of a gout attack.
Smaller doses of colchicine or NSAIDs, along with changes in diet and lifestyle, can be prescribed for future gout attack prevention. If these drugs do not work and attacks still occur, then Probenecid or allopurinol (Zyloprim) may be given to lower the body’s uric acid production.
Some newer drugs are also available to the lower the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream:
- Febuxostat or Uloric is an alternative to allopurinol.
- Losartan,Cozaar, and Hyzaar are all used as blood pressure medicine, but they can also lower the uric acid in the body.
- Fenofibrate and Tricor are cholesterol medications.
- Pegloticase or Krystexxa was FDA approved September 2010. It turns the uric acid into a harmless chemical that then comes out of the body in the urine.
Additional Non Medical Solutions for Gout
Complementary and alternative treatments try to help the body to prevent the buildup of uric acid and flush it from the body. It is important to keep your kidneys and liver healthy. These organs clear your blood of toxins and uric acid.
Drinking plenty of water and other fluids flushes the uric acid from the bloodstream. You should drink 96 ounces or 6 pints daily. Dehydration hinders kidney function, leading to a buildup of uric acid. Natural spring water that is moderately alkaline may help to reduce the acidity of your body.
Cutting out meat is important as the meat is rich in purines that form into uric acid. A vegetarian diet would be very beneficial in controlling gout attack pain. Vegetables, raw fruit (especially cherries and strawberries), nuts, grains, and seeds are all beneficial. Foods rich in purines, such as kidney, liver, sardines, anchovies, asparagus, caviar, crab, herring, meat gravies, broths, beans, peas, mussels, and mushrooms are all foods that should be avoided. Also avoid drinking any alcohol.
Although you need to be at an appropriat
e weight, crash diets that cause rapid weight loss should be avoided as they can increase your level of uric acid. Lose any excess weight healthfully and slowly. Set up an exercise routine and stick to it.
Black cherry juice can prevent gout attacks and also shorten the duration of any attacks that you do have. Black cherry juice can be bought in any health food stores. It is available as tablets, but is not as effective as the juice.