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Natural and Not So Natural Gout Remedy Tactics

Aug 17, 2007
Gout can be very painful so it's no wonder that anyone suffering from it would seek an immediate gout remedy. Here are some main stream medical as well as natural remedies.

Conventional/Traditional Treatments

The main concern about gout is the symptoms of pain and swelling, which can range from mild to extreme. To correct this, doctors may prescribe gout medications such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids, both of which act to bring down the swelling and reduce pain.

NSAIDs, usually Indocid, can also decrease joint stiffness and promote mobility. Usually taken orally, NSAIDs are administered in low doses to treat pain and in higher doses to relieve inflammation. Drugs like Naprosyn, Tolectin, Voltaren and Orudis are only available through prescription and individual reaction to each one may vary.

Patients who cannot tolerate NSAIDs or who do not respond well to treatment may be prescribed another anti-inflammatory drug called corticosteroid, which is just as powerful and effective. It also acts to reduce swelling and can effect immediate relief when injected. Also injectable, ACTHs or adrenocorticotropic hormone may also be used for acute gout attacks.

Another option to treat gout symptoms is colchicines, a drug that's been around for hundreds of years. It is quite effective but is not used as often as NSAIDs because it causes vomiting and diarrhea within a short period after it is given.

Side Effects

Drugs do have their side effects. Allopurinol, for example, can cause skin rashes, blood vessel inflammation or liver toxicity. It can also weaken the kidneys. Colchicine is also an effective drug, but on its bad side, it can cause nausea, weakness, vomiting, hair loss, numbness and abdominal pain.

Corticosteroids, while providing immediate relief through an injection, can also cause similar side effects and are therefore not recommended for prolonged use. Corticosteroids can also cause joint and cartilage weakness.

Home Gout Remedies

Some gout patients find that the symptoms of gout may be reduced by performing simple tasks at home or in the office. These include elevating the affected joint, preventing blood from rushing into the area and cause further swelling. Resting the affected joint or immobilizing it can also bring about a certain level of relief.

Another remedy that has proven successful in alleviating pain is through physical and occupational therapy. Most gout patients suffer needlessly from pain because of improper use of the joints. Both therapies can train their muscles on the proper way of walking and standing. Massages can also help promote relaxation and a feeling of well being.

Relaxation techniques have also shown much promise in reducing pain and helping the muscles relax. Most gout patients also report less incidents of swelling pain after they reduced emotional and physical stress.

Contrary to some, hot compresses do not aid in reducing the symptoms of gout; it can produce temporary relief, but heat increases blood circulation in the affected area and can irritate it. Applying ice packs may also cause more uric acid crystals to form.

There are devices that may be used to make day-to-day tasks easier and much more comfortable: canes, carts, grab bars and such may be utilized to aid in the performance of duties and to conserve precious energy. Knowing that things can be handled can also do a lot for one's peace of mind.

Another remedy to avoid further problems with gout is a lifestyle change. This is more permanent and while there are no guarantees, it can produce some very significant improvements in a patient's condition. By losing weight and having a proper diet, gout patients are able to control the occurrence of gout by simply avoiding foods that promote it, including animal protein sources such as red meats, meat organs, seafoods, shellfish and alcoholic drinks.

The only drawback to avoiding these foods is that most patients will miss out on the essential vitamins and minerals that they contain. To correct this, alternative sources of protein may be used such as tofu and low-fat dairy products. Dietary supplements may also be required not just to maintain the recommended levels of both vitamins and minerals in the body but also to promote the regulation of uric acid levels.

To promote the proper excretion of uric acid in the blood, gout patients are advised to increase their daily fluid intake or maintain it at 8 to 9 glasses. Water helps produce urine, which flushes out toxins and keep uric acid levels to a manageable level.

Alternative Remedies

Another form of remedy for gout is the use of Oriental-style treatments, including acupuncture, acupressure and herbal remedies. While some conventional medical practitioners frown on these practices, some gout patients have achieved some relief using these treatments or in combination with the more traditional remedies. If considering any of these treatments, it would be prudent to get more information, ask your doctor's advice and talk only to a licensed practitioner.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://gout.topicgiant.com where you can learn about more gout remedy tactics.
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