If your doctor diagnoses gout, then they will probably prescribe drug-based medications. There are a variety of medications used, but the two main purposes are to reduce inflammation / pain, and, lower uric acid levels in the blood in oreder to prevent future attacks.
The first thing to be aware of is that there is no actual cure for gout: at least there is no scientifically proven cure. In other words, there isn't a drug, or even a natural remedy, that can be proved cures gout. BUT, gout can be managed very effectively with modern medicine.
Here is a list of common gout medications that doctors routinely prescribe:-
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
These are the most common type of medication and are used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. They have no effect on lowering uric acid. They are taken orally. Indomethacin, naproxen and ibuprofen fall into this category. They are very effective.
But they do have bad side effects that can cause people to have things like stomach cramps, bleeding and ulcers when taken over an extended period.
These are a steroidal anti-inflammatory hormone class of drug. They are taken orally, but can be injected into the bloodstream or directly into the affected joint for rapid pain relief. Prednisone is probably the most common corticosteroid prescribed.
They work by acting on the body's immune system to prevent the body's triggering of inflammatory and allergic reactions that cause the symptoms of gout.
But, in doing this, they also affect the immune system, so that one of the bad side effects is a reduction in the body's ability to fight infection. In addition, they can cause thinning of the bones, which is why they aren't recommended long term.
Colchicines are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs too. They can be taken orally or intravenously and are very effective. But work best if taken within 12 hours of the start of a gout attack.
They are extracted from the Autumn crocus and Meadow saffron plants and work by inhibiting the inflammatory process that causes gout symptoms.
Their side effects are vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain. More serious, longer term side effects are lowered immune system, anaemia and bone marrow impairment.
Allopurinol is a type of drug that can lower uric acid levels in the bloodstream. It cannot relieve inflammation or pain. It is taken orally.
It works by blocking enzymes so as to effectively reduce the amount of uric acid being produced in the body. So they are used to prevent gout attacks, not to treat attacks. In fact, the introduction of allopurinol during an attack can actually have the opposite effect and make the attack even worse.
And, they can only work while they are being taken. Once they are stopped, there is nothing to stop uric acid levels rising again. So they are normally taken over an extended period, certainly months, perhaps even years, depending on the patient's circumstances.
Typical side effects are nausea, stomach upsets, diarrhea, skin rashes. There may even be several gout attacks for a period of time after starting a course of allopurinol as the body adjusts.
Note: It is very important that you never cease taking your medication unless and until advised by your doctor. And if you are suffering any side effects you should report these to your doctor immediately.
As you can see although medications can be effective in managing gout they can have unfortunate, in some cases severe to very severe, side effects that some folks just cannot tolerate, especially over the longer term.
Because of these constraints gout victims are increasingly seeking out more natural ways to relieve gout pain and prevent recurring gout causing potentially serious health issues.
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