Gout is essentially an extreme and complicated form of arthritis. It affects the joints and ligaments primarily, and it can be incredibly painful. In fact, gout can be so painful and debilitating that is can significantly reduce your quality of life. How do you know if you have gout? You may not know until you wake up in the middle of the night with a significant amount of pain in your joints – usually in your feet or hands. You may also start to notice swelling and redness around the joints. Fortunately, gout is preventable and treatable if you are persistent and aggressive. Here is how to prevent and treat gout.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If you are showing signs of swelling or pain in your joints, you may want to start taking some anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter pain medications that don’t have steroids. These medications will significantly reduce the swelling and the pain. It is important to start to taking these medications before the swelling gets out of hand – or else the pain could start to become excruciating. When you have gout, taking these painkillers and anti-inflammatory meds will be necessary on a regular basis.
- Uric acid production inhibitors. A major cause of gout is an increase of uric acid production that can wear away the joints and cause swelling. If you are diagnosed with gout, you may want to speak with your doctor about taking an inhibitor that reduces the amount of uric acid that gets released. It is important to speak to your doctor about these medications, because they could cause some problems. For instance, if you have a history of liver disease, various uric acid inhibitors can cause complications.
- Colchicine. Another medication that your doctor may recommend is called colchicine. This is a medication that was developed to specifically tackle the pain caused by gout. Because the pain is generally caused by inflammation, this medication will target the inflammation-based pain. Again, this medication can have some side effects – like nausea and diarrhea – so it is crucial that you speak with your doctor about your options. If you are not a good candidate, you may want to seek out other options.
- Herbal supplements. Another option to reduce gout pain and suffering is to take herbal supplements. In fact, a lot of the medications that they use to treat gout are simply mimicking the affects of natural remedies. If you read The Sunflower Press, you will see that natural foods, like cherry juice, can actually reduce the pain caused by gout. Cherries have antioxidants that are incredibly powerful. Other fruits that have these antioxidants are goji berries and blueberries.
- Eat well and get plenty of exercise. On top of everything, you also want to be sure to eat right and exercise. If you want to prevent gout and other serious medical conditions, exercise may just save your life. When it comes to gout, exercise can help your body build up a defense mechanism that can be quite strong. In the end, all you need is to commit to twenty minutes of physical fitness every day.