What to Do About a Gout Attack
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 8 million Americans are affected by gout. A gout attack can be incredibly painful and may occur with no warning, so those who suffer from this condition must know what to do to manage comfort.
What is Gout?
Certain foods break down in the body as uric acid. Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, occurs when levels of uric acid become too high. This condition usually affects the joints in the feet, particularly the big toe. Gout is marked by occasional flare-ups, which can be debilitating for a time. To manage comfort, people with gout must learn to recognize the signs of a flare-up. They must also identify ways to combat this event.
A gout flare-up may include:
- A sensation of heat in the big toe
- Swelling in the big toe
- Excruciating, throbbing pain
- Sore, achy joints
- Diminished mobility due to pain
Gout flare-ups can last from 5 to 10 days, with the first 2 to 3 days being the most intense. At the first sign of symptoms, patients can:
- Increase water intake to support kidney function
- Urinate soon after the urge arises
- Take an Epsom salt bath
- Rest and ice painful joints
- Elevate the feet
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication as directed to reduce pain
- Take prescribed medication to lower uric acid levels if advised by your doctor
- Avoid red meat, alcohol, and shellfish to reduce uric acid buildup in the body
- Eat foods that are high in water content and that contain magnesium
Getting Help for Gout
Medical conditions require teamwork for proper management. You and your doctor or podiatrist can work together to help you bring painful gout attacks under control quickly. Medical treatment for gout attacks may include nutrition counseling, prescription anti-inflammatory medication, or corticosteroid medication as needed.
Here at Northeastern Foot and Ankle, patients’ podiatric needs are at the forefront of our practice. Our priority is to provide prompt care and friendly service that gets results as quickly as possible. We u understand that conditions such as gout can severely affect your sense of quality of life. That’s why we take the time to listen and learn about your unique situation and recommend the most appropriate treatment.