Gout: Prevention, Treatment And Diet
Gout is also a type of arthritis which is caused by the accumulation of excess uric acid in the body. By this gout, many other complications like kidney damage, tophi etc. may also develop. There are some medication to lower the uric acid levels and following preventive methods can reduce the gout symptoms of the patient. Although, modified diet is given, use of medications is necessary.
We know that always prevention is better than cure. Even gout has some preventive methods during symptom-free periods, these dietary guidelines may help protect against future gout attacks:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Limit or avoid alcohol
- Limit meat, poultry and fish intakes
- Take healthy protein from low-fat dairy products
- Maintain ideal weight regularly
Staying hydrated well with plenty of water by Limiting sweetened beverages you drink, especially those sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
Always it is better to consume low-fat foods. especially people with gout should take best protein sources like low- fat dairy products which protect you from gout.
Maintaining a healthy ideal weight is always best way to lead a happy life. Your food portion sizes should be correctly chosen reduce gout. Weight loss may helps to decrease uric acid levels in your body. But it should be done gradually, a fast weight loss is not good as uric acid levels may raise temporarily.
Alcohol is not good for even a healthy person. If a gout patient had an habit towards alcohol then consult your doctor about amount or type of alcohol is safe for you. Recent researches showed that beer may increase the risk of gout symptoms, especially in men.
However, small amounts of anything may be tolerable, but pay attention to what types of food and how much amount of it cause problems for you.
To prevent recurrent gout, patient should avoid consumption of high fructose corn syrup which is present in sweetened drinks, fruit juices and some fruits and vegetables rich in fructose. Beware of labels while purchasing food items. But cherries may help to prevent gout.
Febuxostat and Allopurinol are equally effective in preventing recurrent gout.
Febuxostat (urolic) is a xanthine oxide inhibitor used for treating gout which is caused by increased uric acid levels (hyperuricemia).
When gout is mild, infrequent, and uncomplicated, it can be treated with dietary modifications and some lifestyle changes. But some studies have shown that even by the most specified diet does not lower the serum uric acid to control severe gout, so that medications are compulsorily needed.
When gout symptoms attacks are frequent, uric acid increases and form stones in kidney and also tophi are present. Joint damage from gout attacks is most common, medications are generally used to lower the uric acid blood level at this stage.
Medications for the treatment of gout generally divided into three categories:
1. Uric-acid-lowering medications
2. Prophylactic medications (medications used in conjunction with uric-acid-lowering medications to prevent a gout flare), and
3. Rescue medications (to provide immediate relief from gout pain).
1. Uric- acid lowering medications:
Urate-lowering or uric acid lowering medications are the primary medicines used in the treatment for gout. These medications decrease the total amount of uric acid in the body and lower the serum uric acid level. For most of the patients, using of uric-acid-lowering medication is to achieve a serum uric acid level of less than 6 mg/dl.
These medications also are useful effectively in treatments by decreasing the size of tophi. Uric-acid-lowering medications include allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim), febuxostat (Uloric), probenecid etc.
2. Prophylactic Medications
Prophylactic medications are used mostly during the first six months of the treatment. These medications are to lower the high levels of uric acid to prevent gout flares or decrease the number and severity of flares. This is because any medication that either increases or decreases the uric acid level in the bloodstream can flareup a gout attack.
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen sodium (Aleve) are frequently used as prophylactic medications to prevent gout flares during lowering uric-acid levels. By taking any one of these prophylactic medications during the first six months of treatment with allopurinol, febuxostat, or probenecid, their is decrease in risk of having a gout attack.
Prophylactic medications are not used in combination with Krystexxa.
3. Rescue Medications:
Rescue medications are used when there are attacks of acute gout to decrease pain and inflammation. Both colchicine (Colcrys) and NSAIDs can be used during an acute gout attack to decrease inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids and prednisolone also can be used during an acute gouty flare.
But, the total dose of steroids is generally limited as their may occur cataract formation and bone loss. Patients who are unable to take colchicine or NSAIDs can be replaced with steroids.
Foods to be taken
- Low-fat protein dairy products such as yogurt and skim milk.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Nuts, peanut butter, and grains.
- Starchy foods like Potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta.
- Eggs (in limitations)
- Meats like fish, chicken are fine in moderation (around 113 to 170 grams) per day).
Foods to be avoided
- Avoid meats such as liver, kidney and red meat.
- High-purine vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms etc.
- Sweetened foods and beverages
- Vitamin C
- Dried peas and beans
- Fruits like apples, plums, grapes, dates etc.
- The most reliable method to diagnose gout is to remove fluid from an inflamed joint and examined for urate crystals under a microscope.
- Medicines that lowers the uric acid levels are used to treat chronic gout.
- If gout is left untreated, it can cause irreversible joint damage, kidney problems, and tophi.
- Flare ups for acute attacks of gout include surgery, dehydration and foods like beverages sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, beer, liquor, red meat, and seafood etc.