5 Ways to Beat Your Gout
Suffering from gout is not desirable under any circumstances. The one known as disease of kings has caused pain and misery in the lives of many across the globe. For some, they stumbled upon it by not being vigilant with their lifestyles while for others, they just discovered that they were gout sufferers.
Irrespective of how you became a sufferer, the sole focus should be on how to get rid of it, reduce the flares and adapt to a better lifestyle that will not create the right conditions for the disease to thrive in your body.
With several studies and research into the condition, the world is now at a better place to manage and sometimes even get rid of gout completely. A wide variety of medications have been formulated to help gout sufferers get relief and to enjoy normal lives. With the current state of knowledge and medicine, there are a myriad of ways through which to beat gout and if you are a sufferer, you should not let the condition wreak havoc into your life.
Discussed here are some of the five ways you can use to combat gout, ranging from medications, and supplements, to the right gout diet.
Allopurinol for Beating Gout
It would be right to term allopurinol as a veteran drug, when it comes to treating gout. The drug was first marketed in the United States in 1966 and has remained as one of the most recommended drugs for gout up to this day. It is not only used for gout, but also, for treating other conditions such as kidney stones.
Allopurinol operates by reducing the amount of uric acid produced by the body, and thus effectively preventing gout attacks. You will remember that gout attacks are triggered by the crystallization of excess uric acid in the joints and the soft tissues. It therefore means that if the excess production is inhibited, then attacks would be deterred.
But as you use this drug to combat gout, you should be aware of some of the side effects to expect. For instance, weirdly though, the number of attacks may increase when you start using the drug, but they will soon subside as the drug gets used to your system. The other side effects include nausea, stomach upsets, drowsiness and diarrhea. In some instances, severe side effects such as hypersensitive reactions, blood in the urine, changes in vision, and breathing problems, all of which should be reported to the doctor immediately. Never use allopurinol without a prescription from the doctor.
Colchicine for Combating Gout
Colchicine is a gout treatment containing extracts from plants belonging to Colchicum genus. The plants are very poisonous and there is no known antidote for its toxicity. It has been used for its medicinal values for close to two centuries, and as a remedy for gout, it has been in use in tablet forms since 1936.
Unlike most of the gout medications, colchicine does not work by inhibiting or lowering the production of uric acid in the body. Instead, it blocks the inflammation caused by the uric acid in the joints and the soft tissues, thus helping to relieve pain during attacks. It is a fast working drug whose effects are normally felt within the first 12 hours after ingestion.
With the unique nature of this drug, however, it is imperative to get the dosage right, since, deaths have been reported due to colchicine overdose. Before using it, therefore, be sure to get the right prescription from your doctor and stick to the recommended dosage. Report any adverse side effect and stop using the drug immediately.
NSAIDs for Relieving Gout Pain
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are basically pain medication used to reduce inflammation in places such the knees, toes or any other joints synonymous with gout attacks. They are primary pain relievers used during the initial treatment for gout. As far as gout is concerned, these category of drugs do not reduce the levels of uric acid or inhibit inflammation at the joints.
Once the attacks begin, they are then used to relieve pain. Some of the common drugs belonging to NSAIDs include diclofenac, indomethacin, ibuprofen, etodalac, tolmetin, ketoprofen, Sullindac and aspirin amongst others. The use of aspirin is, however, not recommended for relieving gout pain because there are certain studies that have shown that aspirin can actually raise the levels of uric acid in the blood, thus being counterproductive in the fight against gout.
Dietary supplements for fighting gout
Dietary supplements contain dietary ingredients designed to supplement the normal diets. Such ingredients may include minerals, amino acids, concentrates, metabolites, herbs and other botanical extracts. Since the origin of gout has a lot to do with diets (high purine foods which lead to increase in the levels of uric acid following the breakdown of the ingested purines from the diet), it makes sense to use the right dietary supplements to combat it and bring relief to the sufferers.
However, you should have in mind that no all dietary supplements are ideal for combating gout. You must be very wise with your choice and be bias towards those that will not increase the production of uric acid in the body. Again, you should take only the supplements that you are not getting from the normal diets or the ones that your body is starved of. For gout, cherry supplements will always be preferred because they can help in maintaining a healthy uric acid levels in the body.
Use the right diet to beat gout
Finally, you have to watch your diet and overall lifestyle if you want to combat gout and reduce instances of attacks. The starting point is to know what foods to eat and which ones to avoid. Admittedly, there is a huge variation in opinion when it comes to what to eat and not what to eat when one is suffering gout, but without going into the specifics, the basic is that you should avoid all foods that might increase the levels of uric acid in the body. This implies that all high-purine diets must be avoided.
Here is a brief guide into what you need to know about using diet to combat gout:
Healthy diets based on vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflowers, mushrooms, greens and lentils
Avoid organ and glandular meats because they are rich in purines and may increase the level of uric acid in the body.
Avoid sea foods such as herring, sardines, trout, mackerel, tuna and mussel. They have very high content of purines.
Cherries – eat lots of them since they are associated with reduced risks of gout attacks.
For drinks, alcohol must be avoided because it is believed to increase the production of uric acid in the body. Taking coffee in moderation is recommended because studies suggest that regular coffee may help to lower the risks of gout.