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Gout

Gout causes sudden swelling and severe pain in your joints.

Symptoms of gout include sudden pain and swelling in a joint, such as your big toe or knees.

An attack of gout can be treated with anti-inflammatories. Regular exercise, being a healthy weight and reducing alcohol can help prevent attacks.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of gout include sudden pain and swelling in a joint, such as your big toe or knees.

See a GP if you have:

These are symptoms of gout.

An attack of gout usually lasts 5 to 7 days, then gets better. It may not cause lasting damage to joints if you get treatment immediately.

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or call 111 if:

These symptoms could mean you have an infection inside your joint and need urgent medical help.

Read more on the NHS website.

An attack of gout can be treated with anti-inflammatories. Regular exercise, being a healthy weight and reducing alcohol can help prevent attacks.

Medical treatments

Attacks of gout are usually treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) like ibuprofen.

If the pain and swelling does not improve you may be given steroids as tablets or an injection.


Do

  • take any medicine you've been prescribed as soon as possible – it should start to work within 2 days

  • rest and raise the limb

  • keep the joint cool – apply an ice pack, or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, for up to 20 minutes at a time

  • drink lots of water (unless a GP tells you not to)

  • try to keep bedclothes off the affected joint at night


Don't

  • do not put pressure on the joint

Treatment to prevent gout coming back

Gout can come back every few months or it may be years. It can come back more often if it's not treated.

If you have frequent attacks or high levels of uric acid in your blood, you may need to take uric acid-lowering medicine.

Important

It's important to take uric acid-lowering medicine regularly, even when you no longer have symptoms.

Self-care

Making lifestyle changes may mean you can stop or reduce further attacks.


Do

  • get to a healthy weight, but avoid crash diets – try the NHS weight loss plan

  • eat a healthy, balanced diet – your doctor may give you a list of foods to include or limit

  • have some alcohol-free days each week

  • drink plenty of fluids to avoid getting dehydrated

  • exercise regularly – but avoid intense exercise or putting lots of pressure on joints

  • stop smoking

  • ask a GP about vitamin C supplements


Don't

  • do not eat offal, such as kidneys or liver, or seafood

  • do not have lots of sugary drinks and snacks

  • do not eat lots of fatty foods

  • do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you drink as much as 14 units

Read more on the NHS website.