While there is no cure for gout, its symptoms can be controlled by making changes to your diet and through medication.
Avoid foods and drinks that are high in purines to help lower your chances of an attack. They include:
- Alcohol, especially beer and hard liquor
- Red meat and organ meats, such as liver and kidneys, which are high in saturated fat
- Seafood, especially shellfish like shrimp, lobster, mussels, anchovies, and sardines
- High-fructose products like soda and some juices, cereal, ice cream, candy, and fast food
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed for acute attacks or, in lower doses, to help prevent future attacks. NSAIDs are associated with stomach pain and ulcers and should be used with care.
- Colchicine, is an effective pain reliever for gout, but its side effects can be severe in large doses. A low daily dose may be prescribed to help prevent future attacks.
- Corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation and therefore help reduce pain as well. They may be taken as pills or as in injection into the affected joint. Its side effects include mood changes, increased blood sugar levels and elevated blood pressure.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms or the frequency of attacks, other medications may be prescribed to help block the body’s production of uric acid or improve the body’s removal of uric acid.
Surgery is rarely used to treat gout, but may occasionally be needed to remove infected uric acid crystals, or those that interfere with joint movement.
If you have gout, it’s important to seek treatment to reduce uric acid levels in your blood and thus prevent the formation of uric acid crystals. Consult an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss appropriate treatment options for you.
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