Living With Painful Attacks of Gout
Attacks of gout occur when uric acid accumulates in the joints. Gout is a type of arthritis that is extremely painful and may affect one or more joints. Joints affected are usually in the lower extremities such as the big toes, ankles or knees and the onset of pain is sudden and excruciating. Some attacks of gout may be accompanied by a fever and the affected joint may turn red and feel hot to the touch.
The length of a gout attack may last a short amount of time (a day or two), but as time goes by and attacks are more frequent, they may last for longer periods of time. If you have one gout attack, chances are good that others will follow and eventually, you might develop chronic gouty arthritis, which means that you may lose some motion in the affected joint(s).
Being prepared for gout attacks before they happen is the best way to live with the attacks. After your health care provider diagnoses gout, he may prescribe non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin, naproxen or ibuprofen. For pain relief during the attack, he may prescribe a powerful painkiller such as oxycodone or codeine. He may also choose to prescribe a medication to reduce swelling and inflammation. After you begin treatment, the symptoms should disappear within a few hours.
If and when gout attacks become more frequent, your doctor may want you to take a daily dose of a medication that will lessen uric acid levels in your blood. These medications include probenecid and allopurinol. Too much uric acid can also cause the painful onset of kidney stones, so the symptoms of gout should be dealt with immediately.
Living with attacks of gout may also mean that you should change your eating habits. Simply eating healthy foods and avoiding those that are unhealthy is key to preventing more gout attacks. Definitely avoid alcohol and meats especially organ meats such as liver and kidney. Some seafood should also be avoided, such as sardines and herring. Even some vegetables are on the ‘avoidance’ list, like spinach, asparagus and cauliflower.
Although a high uric acid count in the blood can cause gout, the exact cause of the malady isn’t known. Members of the same family may have gout attacks, and even though it’s more prevalent in males than females, postmenopausal women, those who drink too much alcohol and those taking particular medications can also encounter gout attacks.
Those people who have diabetes, kidney disease, leukemia and other types of blood disorders are also susceptible to attacks of gout. Obesity is a common factor in those who are diagnosed with gout, but fast weight loss diets could be harmful, so if you need to lose weight lose it slowly and by following the proper diet plan.
See your doctor immediately if you suspect you may be having a gout attack and begin an immediate plan to prevent further attacks.