Gout occurs when too much uric acid builds in your system. Over time, that excess uric acid can cause crystals to form around your joints, and these crystals can cause pain and inflammation, making gout a painful type of arthritis. While gout is typically a chronic condition, you can recover from gout symptoms and decrease your chance of getting a flare-up by changing your lifestyle a bit. Your doctor can also suggest prescription medications to help you keep your uric acid and gout under control.
Video of the Day
Avoid foods that can cause flare-ups. MedlinePlus warns against alcohol and brewer's yeast, salty fish like sardines and anchovies, fatty organ meats, legumes, spinach, asparagus and cauliflower. Each can contribute to raised uric acid levels.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush the system to restore balance to uric acid levels. MayoClinic.com suggests drinking at least 68 to 136 oz. of water each day. Get an aluminum water bottle and refill it frequently throughout the day. Swap alcohol and soft drinks for water to reduce your chance for a gout flare-up and help you recover from one.
Lose weight slowly. While weight loss can help reduce your chance of a gout attack, losing weight too quickly can result in the formation of kidney stones and crystals in the body, leaving you with sore joints and excess pain. Instead, lose weight by making healthy choices and increasing your daily physical activity.
Rest and immobilize your joints when you experience a gout attack and the accompanying arthritic pain, suggests the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Taking the time to rest your sore joints ensures that they don't become even more inflamed. If possible, elevate the sore joint to drain excess fluid in order to relieve swelling and pressure for faster recovery.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about your symptoms and the frequency of your flare-ups. Gout can be treated using a variety of medications, including oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids injected directly into the joint, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. These will help to reduce some of the uncomfortable swelling associated with gout and relieve the pain. Your doctor may also prescribe oral colchicine in small amounts for daily gout prevention.