About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view expertly's profile
    Posted January 13, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

    Immediate Gout Pain Relief - Is It Possible?


    Conventionally classified as the ‘disease of kings’, Gout is not new to mankind. History indicates that the first case of Gout was diagnosed well over 4,000 years ago and was traditionally associated with over indulgence in rich food and plenty of wine. Thus it is scarcely surprising that it has been often connoted as a ‘rich man’s disease’. On the contrary, contemporary medicine best defines Gout as an acutely painful arthritic condition which predominantly affects a single joint, thus making it imperative that immediate Gout pain relief measures are adopted.

    When excess uric acid is produced or alternatively when the kidneys are unable to remove uric acid from the body, this waste product accumulates in the form of crystals in the joints and the surrounding tissue. This results in severe pain which responds to immediate gout pain relief medications such as Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory drugs.

    If statistics are any indication, 1-2% of the population in western countries is invariably affected by gout at any point of time and the disease is commoner in men as compared to women. While men and women alike respond to conventional treatment, immediate Gout pain relief in those with a history of stomach ulcers can be more complex and may require switching to alternative medications such as Colchicine.

    All cases of acute joint pain with swelling are not essentially due to Gout, this makes it imperative that an accurate diagnosis is made early so as to ensure that treatment can begin early. Typically episodes of acute pain are known to begin at night and are known to be followed by severe inflammation and swelling of one or more joints. Statistics indicate that 50% of gout pain episodes begin with the great toe.
    The treating Physician usually extracts fluid from the affected joint using a needle and will then study the aspirate fluid under a microscope to determine as to whether urate crystals are present.
    Uric acid levels in blood are yet another diagnostic modality, however those without the disease condition could also have high uric acid levels and hence the test is not always reliable.

    Diet and lifestyle modifications are some of the more effective modalities in prevention of Gout and thus minimize the episodes of Gout pain. It is scarcely surprising then that the need for immediate Gout pain relief medications is minimal when the consumption of alcohol, meats and seafood is curtailed. This is more than corroborated by the fact that 12% of all cases could be attributed to diet.

    The pivot to effective treatment of gout is arguably immediate gout pain relief which is best achieved by using multiple options. These could well range from medications like Colchicine through to Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drugs like Naproxen and Indomethacin. High doses of short acting NSAIDs are the preferred option when the indication is immediate pain relief. This is one group of medications which are known to work on the concept of minimizing inflammation of the affected joint and the surrounding tissues.
    On the other hand, medications such as Allopurinol do not provide immediate Gout pain relief and are best used to lower uric acid levels. They are most effective in minimizing the frequency and severity of acute attacks or flare ups.

    Alcohol, beer and non – diet soda invariably increase uric acid levels at an alarming rate thus triggering off acute attacks. Concurrently non vegetarian diets like meat and sea food can also trigger flare ups considering the fact that they are rich sources of Purines. When Purines break down into uric acid, its level begins to rise and the patient may develop an acute gouty arthritis which would require immediate gout pain relief.

    Gout is essentially a metabolic disorder best characterized by the presence of elevated uric acid levels and its symptoms are an excruciating pain, limited to one or two joints at any point of time. The disease continues to mainly affect the great toe and is best controlled by using medications such as Colchicine and non – steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
    Curently, chronic gout is treated with medications such as Allopurinol which can minimize the frequency and severity of acute attacks. Treatment is life long and this makes it critical that preventive measures such as limited intake of alcohol, meat and sea food is observed, in those diagnosed with the disease.
    So the answer is: immediate gout pain relief is possible, but the best option is to take a long-term approach and get as close to an effective cure as possible.

    Add your Story Add your Story