Gout is an often misunderstood disease. It is a form of arthritis that can bring sudden pain to specific joints, which can last for several hours, days, or even weeks. Flareups are most common in the big toe, feet, ankles, knees, and wrists. Not everyone will experience gout, but the ones that do tend to have a high likelihood of repeat episodes. Left untreated, gout can cause permanent damage to kidneys and joints, according to the National Institutes of Health.
What Causes Gout?
Gout is caused when there is too much uric acid serum in the blood that travels to certain joints. In turn, this serum crystallizes, which can cause inflammation. Uric acid forms internally through the normal breakdown of purines but can also be added externally by certain food and drink. Men are more prone to this condition than women, although other risk factors may make certain individuals more susceptible. Gout may be hereditary or brought on by being overweight or having kidney problems. However, one of the largest risk factors for gout is through external food and drink.
Foods Rich in Purines
Purines are in all living things, but some foods have a higher concentration level of this substance than others. When there is too much purine for the body to metabolize adequately, uric acid begins to form. According to Arthritis-health, foods rich in purines include: organ meats, seafood, any food or drink with high fructose corn syrup, foods containing saturated fats, supplements containing yeast.
How to Treat Gout
It can be a long process to get gout under control. Because there is no cure for gout, taking measures to bring uric acid to a manageable level is key for optimizing health. This is done by taking certain medications and changing lifestyle habits. Drugs that help to alleviate the pain of the flareups, like Corticosteroid injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or over-the-counter pain relievers.
Colchicine, according to the company site, works to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood and help prevent the build-up of uric acid. It is not a pain medication but does reduce inflammation, a factor of the pain. Depending on the severity or type of gout that is experienced, a physician may use this drug in conjunction with other anti-gout medications. The average cost for a supply of 30 tablets, 0.6mg, is between $100-$200, depending on the specific pharmacy used and discounts.
Uloric, according to the company, has been evaluated for over 5 years in patients that have some form of gout and has been found effective in lowering uric acid to healthy levels. 7 out of 10 patients had positive results with Uloric at a daily dosage of 80mg. However, it is advised that those with kidney problems should not take more than 40mg per day. The average cost for Uloric is approximately $343 for a supply of 30 tablets, 40mg.
Duzallo is a mixture of lesinurad and allopurinol. If a physician has prescribed allopurinol alone and the results have been less than desirable, Duzallo’s company site claims that this medication may prove more positive. This drug works to decrease the amount of uric acid that the body makes. This medication may be used in conjunction with other drugs, depending on the results. The cost for 30 tablets, 200mg/300mg, typically run between $375 and $400.
Krystexxa is an intravenous infusion that has to be given at a physician’s office. The company site claims it should be used when other medications have proven ineffective and serious physical conditions are erupting. How a patient responds to this treatment will determine the length of treatment. Rheumatologists usually handle this type of procedure so that they can closely monitor the duration and progress. These treatments can run anywhere from $14,624.06 to $21,329.63 for a supply of 1 milliliter.
Gout can be controlled if the right steps are taken to keep uric acid at proper levels. With a combination of healthy living, monitoring purine intake, and taking recommended medications, it is possible to lead a life without the inflammation and pain of gout.