According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease, gout affects about 275 per 100,000 Americans. Gout is a medical condition that is often compared to arthritis as it affects the joints, tendons and other tissues. Sometimes referred to as ‘gouty arthritis,’ gout treatment is generally effective and it is used as a tool to prevent further painful attacks.
Although more men are affected by the condition, women who are post-menopausal may develop it as well. More so, these men and women are generally overweight and/or drink alcohol (beer) excessively. The patients that experience gout attacks develop excessive levels of uric acid in their bloodstream.
Specifically, the victims have a form of rheumatic disease in which an overproduction of uric acid is deposited in the joints. Eventually, the excess uric acid forms into sharp crystals that lead to pain and swelling in the affected joint. This uric acid buildup called hyperuricemia results in sudden gout attacks that require immediate gout treatment.
Gout attacks are most common in the big toe, yet it is known to also affect any joint; such as the fingers, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle or foot. The attacks are extremely painful and may last over a period of several days. Your physician will examine the intensity of the condition and provide treatment accordingly.
There are convention and alternative or complementary gout treatment available. Although there is no permanent cure for gout, these treatments are effective in managing acute attacks, decreasing the duration of an attack, and preventing the risks of future attacks. Available conventional treatments for acute attacks are:
The alternate or complementary gout treatments focus more on the prevention and elimination of uric acid buildup or chronic gout. These treatments must be prescribed in conjunction with individual lifestyle changes. Available chronic gout treatments include medications such as:
- Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors
- Uricosuric Agents