Note: This article is more about the general approaches to gout treatment. If you are wanting to get rid of your pain right now, check out treatment guidelines.
Gout is a painful condition caused by a rise in the uric acid level in the blood. The uric acid that accumulates in blood eventually deposits in the joints as crystals. This causes inflammation, swelling and stiffness in the joints, leading to severe pain and tenderness in the tissues surrounding them.
The primary aim of treatment for this condition is to get early relief from pain, and to prevent further attacks.There are many types of home-based natural treatments, and also many types of treatment based on herbal and alternative medicinal products. But many people depend on prescription medicine to get relief.
Modern medicine aims to treat it by relieving the pain in the first place, and then preventing the recurrence of gout attacks through long term medication. As such there are two separate groups of medicines that are prescribed for treatment.
The individual treatment for each person affected by gout depends mostly on their overall health condition, the level of uric acid present in the blood the condition of the joints affected by it, and also any known allergies or reactions to other medication. There cannot be any generalized line of treatments that fit everyone, but your doctor will understand the best treatment for you.
The typical attack starts as a throbbing pain usually in the big toe, but over time it progresses to other joints also. Usually only one of the major joints of the body will be attacked at any one time but in more serious cases more than one joint can get attacked. The pain during the attack will be very severe and can completely disable the patient. Hence immediate attention during an acute attack is directed towards pain relief.
For this usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given as they give quick relief from pain and reduce the swelling over the affected joint in a short time. For those who cannot take NSAIDS, gout treatment is given by prescribing colchicine. Note: those having gout should not take aspirin, as it has the tendency to increase the uric acid level in the body.
Once the pain and swelling are brought under control, then the aim of the gout treatment is turned towards prevention of further attacks. For this the patient has to stay on medication for longer periods. This is achieved by reducing the uric acid level in the blood, so that the production of urate crystals is brought under control or stopped.
When this is done, the occurrence of attacks is largely prevented and even if they do occur they will be less severe. During the period the patient takes medicine for preventing attacks he might be advised to take low doses of reliever medications also. This helps in preventing further attacks while the preventer medicines work to reduce the uric acid levels in the blood.
Many people prefer not to take medication, particularly as the common medications are known to have some potentially nasty side effects. There are several common natural treatments that are known to relieve gout pain and prevent future attacks which might be a preferred approach to gout treatment for some patients.