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What is Gout?
A very debilitating form of arthritis, that is characterized by sudden bouts of pain and joint disfigurement is called gout. It is caused by a build up of a chemical called uric acid. Normally, uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and passed out of the body in urine. In individuals with gout, uric acid accumulates in the blood, either because too much is produced, or the kidneys aren't properly filtering and excreting the substance. As a result, uric acid changes from a liquid in the blood, to a solid. The uric acid crystals hardened around the joints.
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Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Gout Attacks
Individuals with gout experience sudden onset of pain and inflammation. One way to prevent the onset of these symptoms, especially before a schedule surgery for the condition, is to modify the lifestyle. Gout prophylaxis for surgery that focuses on lifestyle primarily consists of adjusting what you eat and drink. It is recommended to avoid drinking beer and hard liquor. An occasional glass of wine is fine. The diet should be free of foods that contain purine compounds. This mainly consists of red meat and seafood products, but several vegetables also contain purines including asparagus, beans, and cauliflower. Avoid soft drinks since they affect the level of purines in the body. Other helpful measures include exercising and quitting smoking.
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Common Prophylactic Drugs for Gout
Several drugs are prescribed to individuals with gout. They are designed to reduce the onset of symptoms. One such drug is allopurinol. It is one of the medication prescribed for the control of gout. It isn't recommended to treat active gout symptoms, but is effective at reducing the occurrence of gout. Despite this, taking allopurinol may actually cause a gout attack. This is temporary, and the symptoms generally subside.
For those that are unable to take allopurinol, usually due to toxicity issues, the drug sulfinpyrazone is prescribed. Colchicine is also prescribed to help reduce gout attacks. Corticosteroids and NSAIDs are used to treat inflammation associated with gout.
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Alternatives to Prophylactic Drugs
Like the natural treatments for arthritis , alternative methods of gout prophylaxis for surgery focuses on nutrition. Certain foods have been studied to see how they affect uric acid levels. Coffee is particularly interesting. Research indicates that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee drinkers have lower levels of uric acid. Increasing vitamin C intake may reduce the level of uric acid in the blood. Cherries have also been linked to low uric acid levels. Another way to reduce the risk of gout is to increase fluid intake. If the body is dehydrated, there is a greater chance of gout symptoms occurring. Eight to 16 cups of fluid is recommended for individuals with gout.
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1. "Gout Prophylaxis." http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Gout-Prophylaxis.htm
2. "Gout: Alternative Medicine." Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout/DS00090/DSECTION=alternative-medicine