Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis, which can affect anyone. Any joint in the body can be affected, but it most commonly affects the joint of the big toe. The characteristic feature of gout is sudden and severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints.
Consult a doctor immediately if you have:
If you have a repeat acute gout attack, you may take medications to relieve pain/discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine and resting the affected joint can reduce pain. Ice may be applied to reduce pain and swelling. Do not take aspirin to relieve pain in gout. Aspirin is an NSAID, but it is not prescribed for gout as it can actually make gout worse by abruptly changing the uric acid level in the blood.
Consult your doctor even if the pain from gout subsides as repeated attacks occur because of elevated blood levels of uric acid and build-up of uric acid in the joints. There are many medications that can prevent and even reverse the uric acid build-up. The doctor may recommend blood tests and other tests to check the levels of uric and then recommend medications.
Who to consult
Health professionals, who can be consulted to diagnose and treat gout include: