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Guidelines for Gout Management

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The American College of Rheumatology has recently published its guidelines for Gout Management that can serve as a road map for clinicians, with guidance on treatment decisions.

Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when sharp crystal shards of uric acid collect between the joints, causing painful inflammation – and is often inadequately treated. Even though understanding of the molecular basis of hyperuricemia and gouty inflammation has advanced, gaps in the quality of care remain, and patient education about the condition and adherence with therapy are often inadequate.

Managing Gout
For patients, knowledge is the key to managing a Gout attack immediately and in the long run. During an attack, be sure to rest and protect the affected joint or joints, and drink plenty of fluids. Putting an ice pack over an affected joint may help.

As soon as you are feeling a little better, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss diet and other lifestyle issues as well as any treatment that may help over the long term and reduce the risk of a recurrence. If left untreated, gout attacks can become more frequent and more severe, and eventually the pain may become chronic and physical deformities may occur.

Preventing Gout Attacks
A well-balanced management plan for Gout typically includes medication as well as lifestyle changes. Your doctor may suggest one or more of the following:

Changing Medication. If you’re taking diuretics or some of the other drugs that can increase the risk of gout, your doctor will consider alternatives or dosage adjustments as well as medications that may help lower your uric acid level over time.

Creating an Action Plan. Your doctor will give you self-management tactics for coping with a gout attack and may also provide one or more prescriptions to keep on hand – to relieve pain.

Avoiding High-Purine Foods. Foods high in purines that have been found to increase the risk of gout include red meats (such as steak and hamburger), organ meat (such as kidney or liver) and seafood, including shellfish (such as shrimp).

Eating a Gout-friendly diet. Cherries are excellent for fighting gout, also include fresh fruits and vegetables (including nuts and legumes), low-fat dairy and whole-grain carbohydrates.

Losing Weight. Losing weight can help reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood. Your doctor will advise a balanced diet and regular exercise and can help you with an appropriate weight-loss plan.

Periodic Tests. Lowering and maintaining uric acid levels to less than 6.0 mg/dL is a key management goal. Managing uric acid levels may help reduce the risk of future gout attacks.

Drinking Lots of Water. Keeping your body hydrated with non-alcoholic drinks can help flush uric acid from the blood. Limiting sweetened beverages, especially sugary sodas, is also advised.

Reducing Alcoholic Beverages. Avoid more than a moderate intake of alcohol, particularly beer and liquor. This means no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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