The basic principles behind treating gout is straightforward, but in practical reality it is a bit more challenging. Gout occurs when urate crystals get deposited into joints triggering a very painful inflammatory reaction in that joint.
The treatment of gout is basically:
- Management of that acute painful episode with pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications (eg colchicine, indomethacin)
- Prevention of the urate crystals depositing into the joint by taking in less of the foods that get broken down to urates (dietary changes) or drugs to reduce the amount of urates either by getting the kidneys to excrete more (eg probenecid) or prevent the synthesis of the urates (eg allopurinol).
While these basic principles are a general guide to the treatment of gout, in reality it is much more complex and treatment does need to be individualized. there are also a number of factors that increase the risk for gout (eg obesity, diet) and they will need to also be addressed.