Gout is a painful condition resulting from the increase in the levels of uric acid in the body. It can affect your joints and lead to their swelling along with excruciating pain. Treating this condition as soon as possible is important, otherwise, it can lead to permanent joints damage.
The symptoms of gout can be sometimes confused with the symptoms of some other conditions like arthritis. Hence, it is significant to diagnose the presence of this condition before taking gout treatment.
Doctors usually check for the presence of gout based on the appearance of the affected joints and other symptoms. Some other tests are also used for diagnosing gout including:
Joint Fluid test: For this test, the doctor will draw the fluid from the joints affected by gout and will check for the presence of urate crystals.
Blood Test: Doctors suggest this test to determine the level of uric acid contained in your blood. Except the results of this test can be sometimes misleading. Even though some people have high levels of uric acid, they might never experience gout. However, some other people might be suffering from the symptoms of gout, but their uric acid levels can be normal.
X-ray Imaging: This can be useful for ruling out the possibility of other causes for joint inflammation and swelling.
Ultrasound: It uses sound waves to locate urate crystals in the affected joints or tophi.
Duel-Energy Computerized Tomography: This method combines X-ray images taken from different angles to detect urate crystal contents in your joints.
Treating gout involves taking proper medications and implementing some lifestyle changes. The following are some of the gout medication suggested by doctors:
NSAIDs: They are used for managing the pain and swelling linked with this condition. Some NSAIDs that can be commonly prescribed include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, etc.
Colchicine: Your doctor can prescribe these drugs for relieving pain and inflammation. They come with some side effects like diarrhea, nausea, etc.
Corticosteroids: These medications can also be helpful to control gout pain and inflammation. They can lead to some side effects like elevated blood pressure, increase in blood sugar, and mood changes.
Lifestyle Changes For Gout
When living with gout, you need to reduce the intake of purine-rich foods like organ meat, seafood, etc. Avoid the use of alcoholic beverages and drink plenty of water. Also, try to engage in physical activities for easing the pain and improving the strength of your joints. These changes can be useful for you to manage your gout symptoms.