Medically Reviewed By: Tom Iarocci, MD
If you are one of the many unfortunate individuals who suffer from gout, then chances are that you know how to spot the unfortunate symptoms of an oncoming flare-up. It may feel as though there’s nothing you can do about these attacks, but while stopping a gout flare-up once it has started is difficult, there are things you can do to care for yourself at home.
Flare-ups occur when people who have already been diagnosed with higher-than-typical levels of uric acid within their body experience a build-up of that uric acid around a joint. In these circumstances, uric crystals are likely to form, causing pain and discomfort. In this article, we take a look at gout diet and medication for alleviating the symptoms.
First stop in looking at gout diet and medication, if you have already been diagnosed, then your doctor is likely to have given you some sort of medicine that you can take to help reduce the symptoms. For instance, you may be offered safe drugs such as naproxen, meloxicam, ibuprofen, or sulindac. You may also have the opportunity to take over-the-counter NSAIDs in prescription level doses.
Some people may already be taking medicine as a method of helping them to avoid gout flare-ups, such as allopurinol, probenecid, or colchicine. Remember that just because you suffer from a flare up doesn’t necessarily mean that your medicines aren’t working as they should be. Chances are that you will suffer from a flare up during the first few months of using this type of medication as your body adjusts to the presence of new chemicals in your body. On the other hand, if you have been taking preventative medicine for some time and suddenly are beginning to have flare-ups, you may need to change your medicine or dosage.
Pay Special Attention to Your Gout Diet and Medication
The diet that most modern Americans follow today is loaded full of nutritionally deficient and highly processed foods, which is one of the reasons why gout cases appear to be constantly on the rise. If you want to reverse or avoid your condition, you must be cautious about what you eat, starting by staying away from high-purine foods. Mushrooms, anchovies, organ meats, herring, and asparagus are just some of the most common gout foods to avoid, and when your body begins to break down the purines in these foods, they release extra amounts of common uric acid, which elevate your blood levels and damage your joints.
It’s a good idea to stay away from sweetened beverages and sodas wherever possible, as these can also be responsible for causing or aggravating the symptoms of gout. Remember that even a small can of soda comes with a whopping 40 grams of sugar, at least half of which is made up of fructose. Make sure that you opt for clean, pure water wherever possible as your beverage of choice, as this will help to remove excess uric acid from your body. On average, your fructose consumption level should stay below 25 grams each day. However, most people – such as those who frequently suffer with gout and other diseases such as diabetes, should limit their fructose consumption to 15 grams or less.