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Is Gout Curable?

is-gout-curable

ANSWER:

Gout is not curable.

More Info: Though gout is not curable, it is treatable. Gout symptoms can be alleviated through pain management and preventative measures.  Many medications that are prescribed for gout help to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and prevent future attacks.  Maintaining a healthy weight can also help to reduce the incidence of gout as well as limiting foods that increase uric acid levels in the body.

How Is Gout Diagnosed?

Gout is typically diagnosed by extracting a sample of synovial fluid from the inflamed joint. Synovial fluid is a liquid that lubricates the joint. This liquid is examined in a lab for the presence of monosodium urate crystals. If the crystals are not present, this doesn’t rule out gout. Further tests are conducted to examine sodium urate deposits (called tophi) around joints. Serum urate tests may also be performed that measure uric acid in plasma. Multiple tests may also be conducted to develop a diagnosis and these may include a measure of sedimentation rates, blood count, electrolytes, and renal function.

How Is Gout Treated?

Gout is treated with anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. NSAIDs are taken orally, while corticosteroids can either be taken orally or injected directly into the inflamed joint. Corticosteroids start to work in a few hours and an acute attack can be resolved in about a week.

If these treatments do not work, a doctor may prescribe colchicine. Colchine’s action for helping gout is not fully understood. It is believed to help reduce the inflammation caused by uric acid crystals in the joint. It is most effective when taken within 12 hours of an acute gout attack.

Resources

“Gout.” UW Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine – Patient Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2011. <http://www.orthop.washington.edu/PatientCare/OurServices/Arthritis/Articles/Gout.aspx>.

“Gout – Diagnosis.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2011. <http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_risk_factors_gout_000093_5.htm>.

“Gout – Treatment: Preventing Attacks.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2011. <http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_general_guidelines_treating_gout_000093_7.htm>.

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