10 Steps to Ease a Gout Attack
Gout is a painful and complex form of arthritis that causes acute and severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness in one or more joints. The joint often becomes so hot, swollen, and sensitive that even a light touch can feel like you’re being hit with a hammer. The most afflicted joint is the one in the big toe, but it can occur in other joints as well.
Risk Factors of Gout
Anyone can get gout, but there are certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop it and to have recurrent attacks. Gout is caused by urate crystals that accumulate in your joint. These urate crystals form when you have higher than usual levels of uric acid in your body which can happen because of your diet, lifestyle, or medical conditions.
- Family history of gout
- Being overweight
- High blood pressure
- Taking diuretics
- Taking beta-blockers
Additionally, men are more likely than women to produce excess uric acid and experience gout. However, once women become post-menopausal, their gout risk increases. If you get a diagnosis of gout, you will need to find ways to prevent and treat your symptoms.
10 Ways to Prevent and Treat a Gout Attack
Stay Hydrated: You should aim to drink enough water to urinate every 2-3 hours. This helps your system flush out the uric acid crystals that can cause gout. Plus, the less dehydrated you are, the better your body will feel and the less stiff your joints will be.
Free the Joint: Sometimes even clothes against the joint can make gout feel worse so wear loose clothing and try to sleep under lightweight blankets.
Rest and Elevate: Keeping your joint elevated, especially those on lower limbs, can relieve pressure on the joint by drawing blood and fluid away.
Apply Ice: If it isn’t too uncomfortable to do so, use ice on the inflammation to help relieve any pain or swelling. Wrap a clean tea towel around the ice pack before applying it to the affected area.
Watch Your Diet: Foods and drinks like red meat, sausages, sugary drinks, and alcohol can raise your uric acid levels. Instead, you should eat more legumes, fruit and veg, whole grains, and green tea.
Create a Support Network: Let your family and friends know about your condition so they can help when you have a flare-up. You can also look into local support groups or online ones so you can talk to others who understand what you’re going through.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: It’s important to remember the pain will pass and one way to help with this is to practice mindfulness and meditation. There are many apps and videos online to guide you through these relaxing activities.
Track Your Triggers: Keep a journal or diary of your gout symptoms and make a note of any triggers you notice a pattern of.
Reduce Stress: Stress can exacerbate most mental and physical conditions so wherever possible, try to reduce stress. Carve out some time each day to relax and do something nice for yourself, even if it’s just taking a nice warm shower.
Anti-inflammatory Medications: Taking anti-inflammatory medications like Naproxen and Colchicine Tablets can help reduce pain, swelling, and redness.
Gout medication Naproxen and Colchicine Tablets are available online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet.