Gout is mainly a condition connected to arthritis which occurs when uric acid crystals amass in certain joints. Gout usually affects the large toe, but it may also appear in other joints such as the ones in the foot, hand, ankle, knee, wrist, hand and elbow. The symptoms of gout can cause so much discomfort and even unbearable pain, and that adequate treatment is needed to manage the pains and discomforts caused by gout.
Gout is caused when people's uric acid levels go above normal due to the breaking down of waste products called purines. Normally, uric acid can easily be dissolved into the blood and then filtered by the kidneys to be passed out through urine. But in some cases uric acid solidifies in the form of crystals and then accumulating in joints and tissues. This causes severe pains, inflammation, tenderness, warmth, and redness.
The treatment of gout aims to stop the attack of gouts, treat the pain and the inflammation it causes, avoiding further attacks, and preventing complications such as the formation of kidney stones, tophi and the destruction of joints. The usual course of treatment involves altering the diet, providing medication to alleviate pain, prescribing medicine to manage inflammation, and finally, dispensing medication to lower the uric acid level. Normally, the treatment can be administrated without much complication, but the process may be more difficult if the patient has other conditions that can be affected by gout.
Gout treatment normally begins with alteration of the diet. Purine rich foods are eliminated as fluid intake is increased. Alcohol consumption is also decreed and weight loss is recommended to prevent gout attacks from worsening. But dietary treatment is usually not enough to treat gout, other steps are needed for full treatment of the disease.
There are many medications usually prescribed for gout treatment. Here are some of them:
1. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – these drugs, particularly indomethacin, are usually first prescribed to reduce the symptoms of gout, particularly pain and inflammation. Normally, maximum dosages of NSAIDs are used for 48 hours to immediately help diminish the symptoms.
2. Colchicine – this is another medicine prescribed to alleviate symptoms of gout. It is helpful in preventing further gout attacks. Colchicine may either be taken in small amounts regularly for some months or in large dosages over a lot shorter period for acute attacks. Colchicine works best when taken in conjunction with the other facets of gout treatment.
3. Corticosteroids – patients who are not able to take colchicines or NSAIDs are prescribed adrenocorticotropic hormones like predisnone, to alleviate the symptoms of acute out. These hormones are administrated through intramuscular injections starting doses of 20 to 40mg during the first sunset of gout and then tapering off for consequent treatments.
4. Allupurinol – this is most commonly known as the brand Zylprim and is prescribed to lower uric acid levels by controlling the system that creates the substance in the body. This is more helpful for preventing gout, instead of treating attacks.
5. Probenecid – sold as Probalan or Benemid, this is usually prescribed for gouty arthritis and chronic gout. It is also helpful in preventing gout attacks rather than treating actually occurrences. The medicine helps the kidneys eliminate more uric acid out of the body.
6. Colbenemid – sold as Proben-C or Col-Probenecid, this medicine treats gout direcly and also lowers uric acid. This drug contains Colchicine and Probenecid.
7. Sulfinpyrazone – sold as Anturane, this drug also lowers uric acid levels in the blood and is thus a preventive treatment for gouty arthritis.
8. Losartan – sold as Hyzaar and Cozzar, this drug also helps lower uric acid levels, although it is not entirely a medicine for gout. It is more used as an antihypertensive drug and an antagonist for angiotensin II receptor.
9. Analgesics – the levels of pain and discomfort brought about by gout varies from patient to patient and according to the gravity of the disease. Analgesics are also used to manage fevers that may accompany gout attacks.
Gout can cause so many inconveniences in one's life and it is so important to administrator proper treatment right away. Of course, as it is often said, prevention is better than cure and it is so important to decrease chances of gout attacks by maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Source by Lee Dobbins