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How to prevent and treat Gout Arthritis?

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis characterized by an abnormal metabolism of uric acid, resulting in an excess accumulation of uric acid in the tissues and blood. In this disease, kidneys are incapable of removing uric acid from the blood due to which gout patients produce too much uric acid. There are a number of possible consequences of this accumulation of uric acid in the body, including acute and chronic gouty arthritis, kidney stones, and local deposits of uric acid in the skin and other tissues.

Gout is of two types:

    Primary gout: Occurring alone
    Secondary gout: Associated with other medical conditions or medications.

A gout attack may come after an illness or injury characterized by pain in the big toe. It usually affects one joint at a time, but it can spread to other joints and leave them looking red and swollen. Gouty arthritis is the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis in men over the age of 40 years. It is diagnosed by detecting uric acid (monosodium urate) crystals in an aspirated sample of the joint fluid. These uric acid crystals can accumulate in the joint and tissues around the joints within years, triggering repeated episodes of acute inflammation abruptly. Recurring attacks of gouty arthritis, or "flares," can damage the joint and lead to chronic arthritis.

Fortunately, while gout is a progressive disease, there are effective medications to treat gout.

Preventive Measures

1) Drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol or sweet sodas)

2) Relax as much as possible; stress can aggravate gout

3) Ask friends and family to help you with daily tasks

Despite the sudden onset and intense pain, gout attacks usually peak and resolve within a week or 10 days and then disappear completely.The first 36 hours are typically the worst. However, it’s important that once you have an attack, you begin working with your doctor to control uric acid levels and prevent future gout attacks.

Medications for Treating An Acute Gout Attack

1) Nonprescription Medicines: NSAIDs helps in reducing pain and swelling in the joints during a gout attack. Most commonly used are aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. If a patient takes NSAIDs in the first 24 hours, it can help shorten the attack. Other ways to reduce the pain are to ice, rest, and raise the joint.

2) Corticosteroids

3) Colchicine

4) Medicines reducing uric acid levels: Allopurinol, Febuxostat, Probenecid, Lesinurad, Pegloticas

How to Prevent Gout and Future Gout Symptoms

After your gout attack has subsided, the doctor may recommend that you continue long-term therapy with a uric-acid lowering medicine or colchicine to prevent future gout attacks.