Gout is a form of arthritis defined by abrupt, intense episodes of pain, tenderness and redness in the joints, usually in the big toe. The episodes typically last for 3-10 days, followed by pain-free phases before the next flare-up arises.
Even though there is no available cure for gout, using the prescribed drugs and making the necessary lifestyle changes can help lessen the discomfort of the gout flare-ups, prevent future attacks as well as avoid lasting damage to the joints.
Increased intake of fluids
Gout is brought about by the accumulation of uric acid in the body. It is recommended to drink 8-16 cups of fluid in a day at least half in an hour to flush out the uric acid from the body and relieve the symptoms.
Take note that alcohol prevents the excretion of uric acid, thus it must be avoided during flare-ups.
Uric acid is the byproduct of the breakdown of purines. These are chemicals that naturally form in the body and in certain foods. A balanced diet and reducing the intake of purine-rich foods can help lessen the symptoms and prevent future attacks.
The addition of antioxidant foods such as dark-colored fruits and some vegetables can reduce the uric acid and prevent future flare-ups.
Vitamin C supplements can lessen the level of uric acid in the blood but has not been studied as a specific gout remedy.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be used to lessen the inflammation but must be avoided if blood thinners are used including aspirin. Avoid using vitamin A and niacin which might trigger gout flare-ups.
Deep breathing exercises, meditation and other relaxation measures can help in managing the discomfort of gout flare-ups. Regular exercise including walking can help alleviate the stress as well.
Application of heat and cold
It is also recommended to try alternating a warm compress for 3 minutes with a cold compress for 30 seconds to provide relief to the pain and improve circulation.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on gout is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this joint condition, register for a first aid and CPR course with Edmonton First Aid.