5 Steps to Stop a Gout Attack or Gout Flare Up
If you have or know anyone who has gout attacks, you know how incredibly debilitating and painful they can be. When you have a gout attack, it can become extremely painful as joints begin to swell, become warm to the touch and turn red. When a flare up is happening, even the slightest touch or bit of pressure can be extremely painful.
When an attack happens, there are several steps you can take immediately to manage the attack, reducing pain and discomfort:
Take Your Medication
At the first sign of a gout attack, it is usually recommended to take any medication you’ve been prescribed, or to take some over the counter medication like Ibuprofen or Naproxen, except for aspirin which can potentially make the attack worse. The anti-inflammatory medications can help to alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with the attack. Of course, if your doctor has instructed you to do otherwise, it’s best to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Ice Down The Affected Area
When a gout attack happens, immediately grab an ice pack out of the freezer and place it on the afflicted area. Ice not only helps to reduce pain, but reduces inflammation. Do this for 15-20 minutes at a time and repeat during the day as needed.
Call Your Doctor
Before you do anything, it’s best to call your doctor to let him or her know that an attack is occurring. Your doctor may want to see you for a visit or to prescribe new medications to help with your pain. When a gout attack happens, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible and within the first 24 hours of it occurring.
Increase Your Fluid Intake
This doesn’t mean any fluids, increase your water intake immediately. One of the easiest steps you can take is to drink lots of water. Staying hydrated can help to reduce inflammation and flush uric acid from your system, which is the source of gout attacks.
Stay Away from Alcohol
While conventional wisdom might make you think taking a drink will help you relax or even reduce the pain you feel, alcohol, especially beer, can make your attacks worse. Alcohol is known to contain purines, which metabolize in the body and produce uric acid, which causes attacks. Consuming alcohol thus limits your bodies ability to dispose of uric acid from your body, potentially increasing levels.
Finally, it’s important to be patient. When an attack happens, it can be painful and uncomfortable, but the key is to remain patient and wait it out. In the mean time, these steps can help you cope with a gout attack while you wait to see your doctor or wait for his recommendations.