Gout flare-ups can come on unexpectedly and cause extreme pain. With the right treatments and care from the rheumatologists at Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center, you don’t have to suffer from gout pain. Here’s everything you need to know about managing your attacks.
How to Test For Gout
The first step to treating your pain and managing your symptoms is ensuring that you have gout, as the condition can be challenging to diagnose. The most common way to test for gout is to measure the level of uric acid in your blood.
Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, so measuring the level of uric acid in your blood can help diagnose the condition. Your doctor may also perform a joint fluid analysis, which involves removing a small sample of fluid from the affected joint and examining it under a microscope.
In some cases, your doctor may also order an X-ray or other imaging tests to check for joint damage or other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
How Long Do Gout Flare-Ups Last?
Flare-ups of gout include sudden, severe joint pain and swelling that impacts your daily activities, work, and quality of life. The duration of a gout flare-up can vary depending on many factors, including the severity of the attack, your overall health, and the effectiveness of your treatment.
Gout attacks typically last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Unfortunately, it is common for patients to experience multiple flare-ups over the course of several months. Some patients suffer from chronic gout, which consists of frequent and prolonged attacks.
Luckily, there are medications and treatment options that can help to reduce inflammation discomfort during flare-ups, potentially shortening the duration of the attack.
When is Gout Removal Surgery Needed?
Gout removal can often be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. That’s why it is important to treat gout as soon as symptoms begin to avoid your condition from worsening.
However, when flare-ups become frequent, severe, and impact a larger joint such as the knee or ankle, surgically removing gout may be necessary. Surgery may involve removing the affected joint tissues and replacing it with an artificial joint.
Gout removal surgery is not a cure for the condition — it will not prevent it from coming back in the future and is often a last resort when other treatments have failed. Visit your arthritis doctor often to manage your symptoms and develop a treatment plan personalized to you.
Tips for Managing a Gout Flare
From gout supplements to lifestyle changes, there are many ways to take control of your condition. Here are some helpful tips for managing flare-ups.
Drink plenty of water to flush out excess uric acid from your body. This can reduce the severity of your flare-ups and cause them to occur less frequently.
Limit Alcohol and Sugary Drinks
Alcohol and sugary drinks can increase your body’s uric acid levels, causing gout attacks to occur more often at higher intensities. Limit or avoid these beverages to minimize painful symptoms and discomfort.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to manage gout symptoms. For some patients, it is best to limit/avoid trigger foods like red meat and shellfish, low purines diet . Turmeric, fish oil and vitamin C are all highly effective supplements for gout used to minimize flare-ups.
Rest and Limit Stress
During a flare-up, take the time to rest the affected joint and elevate it to reduce pain and inflammation. Stress is a common trigger for gout symptoms, so it is important to limit mental and physical strain with activities like yoga, reading or exercise.
Use Ice or Heat Therapy
Ice and heat therapy are great ways to minimize painful symptoms during a flare-up. Applying ice or heat to the affected joint can reduce inflammation and minimize the duration of the attack.
Take Medication as Prescribed
Take medications prescribed by your healthcare provider as directed to manage symptoms and prevent high amounts of uric acid from building up in your joints. In addition, at AOTC we can now offer an advanced intravenous infusion treatment. This IV infusion treatment dissolves the nodules that are produced from long-term untreated gout in all areas of the body. This is a very effective and rewarding treatment.
Schedule an Appointment at our Orange Park Office in Jacksonville, Florida
Gout can be a painful and frustrating condition. Luckily, there are several ways to minimize the severity of your symptoms and reduce the frequency of flare-ups. Schedule an appointment with the experienced rheumatologists at Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center to receive the personalized gout care you deserve.