Gout is a type of Arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain.
It can affect the big toe and other joints in the feet, hands, wrist, elbows or knees. The affected joint is hot and swollen with red skin.
Attacks of gout usually last 5 to 7 days and then subside. It is very important to treat an attack immediately to avoid damage to the joint. Ask for an urgent GP appointment or phone 111 if the pain is getting worse, you have a very high temperature, also feel sick and cannot eat.
Gout is caused by uric acid collecting in the joints and treatment is the use of drugs to reduce the level of this chemical.
Prevention of gout is helped by the following:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- A balanced diet with vitamin C
- Alcohol-free days each week
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Exercise regularly but avoid intense pressure on the joints
- Stop smoking
Drugs used to treat Gout
- Colchicine Tablets are given for acute attacks and are very safe as long as the recommended dosage is strictly adhered to. The tablets are extremely toxic and can result in an emergency A & E visit with only a small overdose.
- Allopurinol Tablets are given as a prophylactic to prevent the accumulation of Uric Acid and are available from your GP after blood tests.
The dose for an acute attack is: One tablet 2-4 times a day until the symptoms are relieved, maximum 12 tablets in each course which must not be repeated within 3 days.