4 Ways to Deal with a Painful Gout Attack
Not just a condition that affected Henry VIII, gout is a painful and complex form of arthritis that can happen to anyone. It often comes on suddenly and leaves the sufferer with severe pain, swelling, and redness in one or multiple joints. The most common afflicted joint is in the big toe, but it can also appear in the ankles, wrist, elbows, and fingers.
Gout is the result of a buildup of excess uric acid in the blood. When you produce too much of it, your kidneys can’t filter it out and it can cause sharp, tiny crystals to form in your joints. These crystals are what cause the uncomfortable symptoms of gout.
To help get you pain relief quickly, here are a few tried and true methods of treating gout pain.
- Apply Ice to the Joint
- Elevate the Joint Elevating the joint takes pressure off and improves blood flow. It also encourages fluid to move away from the joint back to the heart.
- Stay Hydrated and Watch Your Diet If you are dehydrated, your uric acid levels rise even more so it is important to drink plenty of water to keep your levels regulated. Foods high in a substance called purines can raise uric acid levels. Foods and drinks with purines include alcohol, fructose-sweetened food and drinks, liver, and some seafood.
- Take an NSAID High doses of pain relievers called NSAIDS can provide quick pain relief for gout. A common, effective NSAID is Naproxen.
Cold packs or ice packs can help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joint. Wrap the pack in a clean, thin tea towel and apply it to the joint for 15-20 minutes a few times a day.
However, if you have nerve damage from diabetes, you shouldn’t use ice on your hands or feet.
Other Gout Relief Treatment
Colchicine is a medication used to not only prevent gout attacks, but to help relieve the pain associated with a gout attack. It isn’t a pain reliever, but instead is what is called an anti-gout agent. It works by stopping the inflammation that causes the painful symptoms of gout.