Gout is a medical condition that is caused by the deposit of urate crystals in your joints. Intense pain and inflammation are the typical symptoms you experience during a gout attack.
In this article, we focus on the diagnostic and treatment methods of gout.
How To Diagnose Gout?
Doctors usually study your symptoms and the external appearance of the affected area to diagnose gout. Here are some of the tests conducted for gout diagnosis:
- X-Ray imaging: joint X-rays are useful for figuring out the possible causes of joint inflammation.
- Joint fluid test: In the test, your doctor draws the fluid from your affected joint. Urate crystals may be seen when the sample is examined under the microscope.
- Ultrasound: The test employs sound waves for detecting urate crystals that have accumulated in the joints.
- Blood test: Sometimes doctors may suggest a blood test to figure out the levels of uric acid in the blood. However, the results could be misleading. Some people may not have gout even if their blood uric acid levels are high. On the other hand, people who do not have excessive levels of uric acid in the blood may have gout.
- Dual-energy computerized tomography: The test uses a combination of X-ray images taken from different angles to get a clear image of the urate crystals accumulated in the joints.
How To Treat Gout?
Gout medications are of two types: the first type help reduce the inflammation and pain symptoms of gout while the second type prevents gout complications by bringing down the levels of uric acid in the blood.
Medications For Treating Gout Attacks
Here are the drugs used to treat gout flare-ups and reduce the chances of future attacks.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Some of the options in the category include naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, indomethacin, and celecoxib.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid medications like prednisone can prevent the joint inflammation and pain associated with gout.
- Colchicine: The drug is used to reduce gout pain.
Medications For Preventing Gout Complications
If you experience intense or frequent gout attacks, doctors may recommend taking medications to prevent gout complications. This include:
- Medications to block uric acid production: Drugs like febuxostat and allopurinol limit the production of uric acid by your body.
- Medications improving uric acid removal: Medications like probenecid improve the efficiency of uric acid removal by your kidneys.
A combination of proper diet, lifestyle, and medications is critical to preventing gout flares and checking gout complications.