How to Treat Gout

By Contributor

How to Treat Gout. Prompt treatment of gout significantly speeds recovery. Treated immediately, a bout of gout will be greatly improved within two days. Untreated bouts, or those that receive delayed treatment, can cause gout to linger for days or even weeks.

See your doctor for a gout test. The test is performed by removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and looking at the fluid under a microscope. You may also need a serum urate test. This is a blood test that will detect uric acid circulating in your system.

Rest the inflamed joint, and elevate it. Don't try to "walk off" a gouty toe or knee.

Apply ice to gouty joint, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Never apply ice directly against skin. Always wrap ice into ice bag or towel.

Keep clothes and blankets off a gouty joint. Any extra weight exacerbates joint inflammation.

Make dietary changes. Avoid food with lots of purine: organ meats, sardines, anchovies and dried legumes. Increase your intake of strawberries and cherries. Some studies suggest these two fruits help heal gout. Drink at least two, preferably three, quarts of water a day. Avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking.

Take gout medicine. A treatment regimen may include indomethacin and/or naproxen for pain, as well as colchicine orally, every one to two hours, until gout pain is gone.

Discuss the option of taking a corticosteroid orally or having it injected into your gouty joint.

Ask about using probenecid or sulfinpyrazone to lower the uric acid levels in your urine. These two drugs act by increasing the excretion of uric acid into the urine. Do not take these drugs if you have a history of kidney stones.

Consider allupurinol to block the metabolic conversion of purines into uric acids.


Avoid taking aspirin for pain. Low doses of aspirin actually increase the chance of developing gout. For more information on gout, call the Arthritis Foundation at (800) 283-7800. For fun recipes and more information on food and gout, call (904) 447-0324 to order "Gout Haters' Cookbook."


Keep in mind that taking colchicine can cause severe diarrhea. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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