Gout is a type of arthritis. It develops due to a buildup of urate in the joints. The condition can cause intense joint pain, and the affected areas may become swollen or red. Along with the big toe, the ankles, knees, fingers, wrists, and elbows are the most commonly affected areas. Most patients experience symptoms at night. The symptoms tend to appear suddenly. Generally, the joint pain will be severe for the first four to twelve hours. Discomfort could continue for several days or weeks. Gout patients who have had this condition for an extended period could notice a reduced range of motion in the affected joints. Doctors may perform blood tests, x-rays, joint fluid tests, dual-energy CT scans, and ultrasounds to diagnose gout.
Many patients will take prescription medicine for gout pain. This often includes anti-inflammatory medicine for gout, or even uric acid lowering medicine. Certain individuals may also be prescribed ointment for gout pain. Natural remedies for gout may also be helpful, and they typically include following a gout diet. Of course, patients will still have to take gout control medications at least occasionally, so it is best to understand how they work.
Colchicine is used to reduce the pain associated with acute gout symptoms. Patients may also take a daily low dose of colchicine to prevent future gout attacks. This medication is taken orally. It works by reducing the accumulation of uric acid crystals. Colchicine also reduces swelling in the affected joints. To ensure that this medication is safe for the patient's needs, doctors will want to know if they have a history of kidney or liver disease.
Patients should also let their doctor know if they take digoxin or medicines to reduce cholesterol. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are some of the most common side effects of colchicine. Some individuals could experience severe diarrhea, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, or numbness in the fingers or toes while taking this medicine. If these side effects occur, patients should let their doctor know right away.
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