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StopThat Pain!

A Big Pain In The Joint

The sudden, intense burning pain of a gout attack can leave its victim looking for a quick way out.  Striking without warning, gout attacks can last from a few days to several weeks.  A person may suffer from one attack and never have another, or the gout attacks may become more severe and frequent.  There can be "after effects" of a gout attack, especially if blood levels of uric acid are high, including such things as kidney stones, kidney function disturbances and nerve damage.  Tophi, large deposits of uric acid crystals, can form in joints causing deformities, tissue damage and joint destruction as well as consistent pain.  Keeping the blood levels of uric acid low is very important since it can be a controlling factor in gout pain management.  Part of an effective treatment plan for gout should include addressing hyperuricemia.

Your Health Care Provider And You

Your health care provider is your most valuable contact when it comes to creating a treatment plan to manage gout.  Like most things in life, once the initial impact is over there is a tendency to forget the problem - until it happens again.  So, staying with your treatment plan during those in-between times is very important to the overall success of the treatment and controlling the problem.  While there does not seem to be one single action to prevent gout attacks, there are combinations of things which can be done to help the situation and can be implemented easily.  Your health care provider can work with you to develop an eating plan which would work best for your individual needs and might include avoiding certain foods and including others.  Maintaining a healthy body weight through proper diet and exercise is important. However, losing weight too quickly can actually be counter-productive in that it can increase uric acid in the blood.

Your Part In The Play

Don't skip appointments with your health care provider, or if you must miss an appointment be sure to reschedule.  The reason for this is to maintain good monitoring of the levels of uric acid in the blood as well as to assess the success of any medications or supplements recommended for treatment.  Also, if you are already taking medications, vitamins, herbal or natural supplements, it is wise to have them checked for potential effects on gout attacks.  It is always better to work together with a professional when it comes to treatment, than to risk serious effects resulting from self-diagnosis and self-medication.