Gout is a form of arthritis. It can cause a sudden attack of burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint - usually your big toe. These attacks can happen repeatedly unless it is treated. Over time, gout can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men.
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. The symptoms of gout are due to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joint. Gout most commonly affects the joint in the base of the big toe. Gout attacks often occur without warning in the middle of the night.
The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness and sharp pain in your big toe. You can also get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees, or other joints. The attacks can last a few days or many weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not happen for months or years.
See your doctor even if your pain from gout is gone. The buildup of uric acid that led to your gout attack can still harm your joints.
To stop a gout attack, your doctor can give you a shot of corticosteroids or prescribe a large daily dose of one or more medicines. The doses will get smaller as your symptoms go away. Relief from a gout attack often begins within 24 hours if you start treatment right.
To ease the pain during a gout attack, rest the joint that hurts. Taking ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medicine may also help you feel better. But don’t take aspirin. It can make gout worse by raising the uric acid level in the blood.
To prevent future attacks, your doctor can prescribe a medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in your blood. Proper treatment should be determined by your doctor according to your condition and taking any other health concerns into consideration.
Paying attention to what you eat may help you manage your gout. Eat moderate amounts of a healthy mix of foods to control your weight and get the nutrients you need. Limit daily intake of meat, seafood, and alcohol (especially beer). Drink plenty of water and other fluids.