In this article, we will try to answer three important questions about acute gout attack. What is it? What are its causes? How do we treat it?
What is acute gout attack?
Acute gout is a painful condition that generally affects one joint in the body. It is an inflammatory process that happens in a joint secondary to a high concentration of uric acid in the blood. It commonly happens in middle aged men. It can also happen rarely in women. Acute gout attacks are extremely painful. Affected joints become red and swollen. People who experience an acute gout attack find it difficult to move the affected parts. Even a slight touch to it creates a very painful feeling.
The symptoms for acute gout attack are
- Pain in joints especially in the knee, toes, ankle, elbow, hands, and fingers
- Sudden throbbing pain especially at night
- Redness and swelling of joints
- Recurrent pain in joints
If these symptoms are felt, immediate acute gout attack treatment should be made possible.
What causes an acute gout attack?
Acute gout attacks happen when excessive amount of uric acid in the body cause crystals to form in the joints of the body. The body’s natural defense mechanism fights the foreign matter in the joints which initiates the process of inflammation. People who experience acute gout attacks have increased levels of uric acid for a number of reasons. Some of the things that trigger gout attacks are the following:
- Too much alcohol intake
- Eating too much chocolates, meat, and seafood which are known to be high-purine foods
- Medicine intake which can cause the body to increase uric acid levels
When the body gets too much uric acid, it becomes difficult for it to get rid of the excessive uric acid. This causes the crystals to form in joints and cause swelling. The condition may also develop with people who are experiencing diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, anemia, and leukemia.
What are the ways to treat acute gout attacks?
Acute gout attack treatment should be made as soon as possible if the attack is sudden. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or indomethacin should be taken as soon as symptoms begin. The patient should be cautious, though, in taking these medicines. Expert advice and proper dosage are needed. Health care providers may also prescribe strong painkillers such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Corticosteroids can also be very effective. These drugs help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Patients may also prefer to use natural acute gout attack treatment. A change in one’s lifestyle and diet may also help prevent gout attacks. Avoiding too much alcohol, reducing the intake of purine rich foods (meat, liver, sardines, anchovies, legumes, spinach, mushrooms, and asparagus), limiting the amount of food in a meal, avoiding fatty foods, and eating enough carbohydrates may help improve the condition and lessen the risk of acute gout attacks.
With proper acute gout attack treatment, gout patients may enjoy a normal life. However, if not treated properly, acute gout may develop to chronic gout.