Gout can be excruciatingly painful and while there is a lot about how best to prevent it from happening for the first time, or from recurring for those who have already been affected, knowing how to act during one an episode can save one a lot of distress.
The following are some practical steps that anyone can take whether experiencing an attack for the first time or a reoccurring episode. They could also come in handy for those who live with anyone experiencing these attacks in knowing how to help their loved ones.
As with any form of arthritis, getting professional medical assistance as soon as you can is the number one recommendation, and a doctor with knowledge of your medical history would be ideal. A doctor would take into account any other medical factors that will dictate the specific method of treatment you will need, minimizing the risk of preventable side effects.
Also, if it is the first time one is experiencing symptoms, there is the slight possibility that it could be another form of arthritis or a completely different ailment altogether, and so treating it yourself might not be very effective.
Getting the best treatment within the shortest amount of time, ideally in less than 24 hours, is the first and most important step in granting immediate relief from a gout attack.
Now, one of the simplest forms of relieving the pain caused by gout, and one that everyone should have available, is the application of ice packs on the affected area. This also reduced inflammation in the joints and should be used for extensive periods of time, taking breaks at intervals, throughout the entire length of time the gout attack lasts.
If one is experiencing a recurring gout attack, medical help should have been sought by this point in time, and reaching for prescribed medicine would be the obvious resort to helping ease pain and reduce inflammation.
Only specific medicine should be used, such as NSAIDS, which can actually work to shorten the length of a gout attack. Corticosteroids and Colchicine are among other medications that reduce the levels of uric acid in your system. Self-prescribed medicines, even simple painkillers, are not recommended.
The whole purpose of the medication is to target the sole cause of gout, high uric acid levels in the body, which means that only specific medicines work, despite the possibility of side effects.
Unfortunately, there are no medications that work to an immediate effect, but in taking these and other steps, significant inflammation and pain reduction is made possible.
While having a healthy a diet and avoiding alcohol are good preventative measures, while experiencing a gout attack, it is highly recommended that one should keep hydrated so as to flush out the buildup of uric acid. Water, juices, and fruits like watermelons are best while sodas and energy drinks should be avoided at all costs.
Having placed ice on the affected joints, hydrated well enough, and taken the prescribed medication from a doctor, the only remaining relief methods left is to create a hospitable and relaxing environment.
This means, first and foremost, resting the joint that has been affected. It is important not to try to put it to use but instead relaxing and cushioning it in the best way possible, while also keeping it cool with ice.
Whenever movement is needed, take certain measures to ensure minimizing the need to use the joint, such as crutches. Taking your mind off the issue can also help psychologically, as with any pain, so immersing yourself in a distracting activity that doesn’t mean moving about, or keeping good company, are some ideas to help ease the pain.
Unfortunately, gout attacks last several days and there is no way to putting an immediate end to them, so preparing yourself is the best way to weather out the storm. Fortunately, the above mentioned methods are all medically sound and have been proven to work in helping relieve the pain and making the experience more bearable.
After an attack, the best way to prevent it from ever happening again is to check up on one’s lifestyle and all the things that increase risks of a gout attack recurring. This means a change in diet, reduction in alcohol and sugary drinks, and getting lots of healthy physical exercise.