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What is a gout attack?

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Quick Answer

A gout attack is a medical condition identified by sudden, and often painful, swelling of joints in the ankles, toes or feet. The symptoms occur as a result of excess uric acid accumulating in the body, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

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What is a gout attack?
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Full Answer

Several factors can contribute to increased levels of uric acid, including certain diuretics, low-dose aspirin, alcoholic beverages and rich foods like red meat. Some medicines, such as allopurinol and probenecid, are effective in reducing uric acid levels, however, they are typically administered over a period of time as a preventative measure and are not used to treat sudden gout flares. Doctors may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like naproxin (Aleve) or ibuprofin (Motrin or Advil) to help with pain during an attack. Home treatment options for gout flare-ups include drinking plenty of water, applying a cold compress to the affected joints and eliminating intake of food and drink that are likely to contribute to gout as reported by WebMD.

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