Treatment of an acute attack of gout involves resting the affected joint, reducing swelling with ice and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, notes WebMD. Long-term gout involves taking medicine that reduces uric levels in the blood.
If a patient has high blood uric acid but has never had a gout attack, treatment is usually not needed, according to WebMD. Patients with high levels should receive regular testing for signs of kidney damage. Long-term treatment with medicine is usually needed until uric acid levels return to normal.
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes attacks of sudden burning pain, stiffness and swelling, claims WebMD. These attacks usually occur in a big toe and may happen frequently if gout is left untreated. Gout is caused by excessive uric acid in blood that forms hard crystals in joints. The risk of gout is higher if a patient is overweight, abuses alcohol and eats meat and fish high in purines.
The most common symptom of gout is tenderness, redness and sharp pain in the big toe, but gout can also occur in the feet, ankles, knees or other joints, as WebMD explains. Attacks can last for several days or many months before the pain recedes, and they may cease for several months or years. A doctor can diagnose gout by testing fluid from a patient's joint for uric acid crystals. A blood test can also determine uric acid levels.