Gout Traditional Treatments
Treatments for gout are designed to either reduce the pain and
inflammation of individual attacks or to reduce the frequency of attacks.
your diet is one of the most important ways to
reduce the number of acute gout attacks you experience. The goal of these
changes is to lower blood levels of uric acid. The following changes can reduce
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol
- Drink lots of water or other
- Increase consumption of low- or
non-fat dairy products.
- Avoid high-purine foods,
including organ meats like kidneys, liver, and sweetbreads; oily fish like sardines, anchovies, and herring;
certain vegetables including asparagus and cauliflower; beans; and mushrooms.
- Limit meat consumption in favor
of plant-based proteins like beans and legumes.
- Consume complex carbohydrates,
such as whole-grain breads, fruits, and vegetables, rather than sugary sweets
and refined carbohydrates like white bread.
There are many classes of drugs used to treat gout.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and colchicine all reduce the pain and
inflammation associated with an acute gout attack.
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors like
allopurinol reduce the amount of uric acid produced by the body.
- Probenecid improves the kidneys' ability
to remove uric acid from the blood
During an acute gout attack, the main priority of drug treatment is to
reduce pain and inflammation. There are three categories of drugs used for
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a large class of drugs that reduce both
pain and inflammation. Many NSAIDs are available over-the-counter at low doses
and at higher doses by prescription. NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal side
effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. In rare
cases, they can cause kidney or liver
damage. NSAIDs commonly used for gout include:
- celecoxib (Celebrex)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- indomethacin (Indocin)
- ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail)
- naproxen (Aleve)
(Colcrys) is a drug whose main use is to treat gout. It prevents uric acid in
the body from forming urate crystals. Taken very soon after the onset of acute
gout symptoms, it can effectively prevent pain and
swelling. It’s also sometimes prescribed for daily use to prevent future
attacks. However, colchicine also causes side effects including nausea,
vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s usually prescribed to
patients who cannot take NSAIDs.
are very effective at reducing inflammation. They can be taken orally or
injected directly into the affected joint. Unfortunately, they have serious
side effects when used for long periods including:
reason, they are generally used only in patients who cannot take NSAIDs or
colchicine. Corticosteroids used for gout include:
- methylprednisolone (Medrol,
- triamcinolone (aristospan)
The following two types of drugs are taken daily to help prevent future
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors
oxidase inhibitors reduce the amount of uric acid produced by the body. However,
these drugs can actually trigger an acute gout attack when a person starts
taking them. For this reason, patients are commonly prescribed a short course
of colchicine when starting a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. Side effects of these
drugs include rash and nausea. There are two main
xanthine oxidase inhibitors used for gout.
- allopurinol (Aloprim, Lopurin,
- febuxostat (Uloric)
(Probalan) is a drug that helps the kidneys remove uric acid from the blood
more effectively. Side effects include rash, upset stomach, and kidney stones.
Gout Alternative Treatments
Alternative treatments for gout seek either to reduce pain during attacks or to lower uric acid levels and potentially prevent
attacks. Like with many alternative treatments for any disease or condition,
opinions are often mixed as to the efficacy of some treatment methods. Research
is often minimal in comparison to traditional medical treatments for gout.
many people have had success in using alternative treatments in the management
of many diseases and conditions, including gout. Before trying any gout
alternative treatments, you should always check with your doctor to be sure
that the methods are safe and right for you.
Foods, Herbs, & Supplements
following have shown at least some promise for gout.
Coffee: According to the
Mayo Clinic, there’s evidence that drinking four to six cups of coffee a day can
lower gout risk in men.
fruits like blackberries, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, and especially
cherries can help keep uric acid under control.
moderate amounts of vitamin C is also connected to lower uric acid levels.
However, very large doses of the vitamin can actually raise uric acid levels.
are also herbal supplements that have been found to effectively reduce
inflammation including devil's claw, bromelain, and turmeric. These haven’t
been specifically studied for gout, but they may help with the swelling and
pain associated with an attack.
technique from traditional Chinese medicine of placing very thin needles in points
on the body has been found effective in treating different types of chronic
pain. There haven’t yet been any studies done on acupuncture and gout, but its
pain-relieving properties are promising.
Hot & Cold Compress
between hot compress to the affected area for three minutes and a cold compress
for 30 seconds can help reduce pain and swelling that occurs during a gout
In most people, a first acute gout attack comes without warning,
and there really aren't any other symptoms of high uric acid. Therefore,
prevention efforts for gout are focused on preventing future attacks or
lessening their severity.
Xanthine oxidase inhibitors and probenecid both prevent gout
attacks by reducing the amount of uric acid in the blood. A doctor may also prescribe
an NSAID or colchicine to be taken every day to help make future attacks less
Careful monitoring of diet can also help to reduce uric acid
levels. Your doctor can help you create a specific plan, but some of the most
common changes are as follows:
- drink more water
and other non-alcoholic fluids
- drink less alcohol
- eat less meat
- limit high-purine
foods, including organ meats, oily fish, and certain vegetables
- eat more low-fat
Maintain a Healthy Weight
In addition, dietary changes may also have the goal of
reducing body weight. Obesity is a risk factor for gout. Maintaining a healthy
weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent attacks.