How Do You Treat Gout?

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Gout is a form of arthritis usually treated with medications, which vary according to the patient's health and personal preferences, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors prescribe medication to reduce pain when the patient is suffering an acute attack, to prevent future attacks and to prevent possible complications.

WebMD identifies nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine and corticosteroids as the typical medications used to control gout pain. To prevent future attacks, doctors prescribe medications that reduce uric acid production and those that improve uric acid removal by the kidneys.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, a doctor's first concern in treating gout is bringing the current attack under control. With proper medication, most people find relief within a few hours or a couple days. The second concern is to manage the condition through prevention of future attacks and long-term damage to the joints. Without medication, many people develop tophi, lumps of crystallized uric acid in the joint or surrounding tissue, and suffer the chronic pain of uncontrolled gout attacks.

In addition to the medication a doctor prescribes, home care for gout helps to reduce the pain, according to WebMD. Ice, when used 20 to 30 minutes several times per day, helps to decrease swelling and pain. Resting the joint in an elevated position on a soft pillow is sometimes helpful. Lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications such as limiting consumption of alcohol and increasing fluids, are helpful in preventing the formation of uric acid crystals.