The UVA Hand Center Close Window
Library Search Go Advanced Search
Español (Inicio)

Treating Gout Attacks

Gout is a disease that affects the joints. Left untreated, it can lead to painful foot deformity and even kidney problems. But, by treating gout early, you can relieve pain and help prevent future problems. Gout can usually be treated with medication and proper diet. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

Gout attacks are painful and often happen more than once. Taking medications may reduce pain and prevent attacks in the future. There are also some things you can do at home to relieve symptoms.

Man holding glass of water, preparing to take pill.

Medications for Gout

Your health care provider may prescribe a daily medication to reduce levels of uric acid. This may help prevent gout attacks. Other medications can help relieve pain and swelling during an attack. Be sure to take your medication as directed.

What You Can Do

Below are some things you can do at home to relieve gout symptoms. Your health care provider may have other tips.

  • Rest the painful joint as much as you can.

  • Raise the painful joint so it is at a level higher than your heart.

How Can I Prevent Gout?

With a little effort, you may be able to prevent gout attacks in the future. Here are some things you can do:

  • Avoid alcohol and foods that trigger gout.

  • Avoid foods high in purines

    • Certain meats (red meat, processed meat, turkey)

    • Organ meats (kidney, liver, sweetbread)

    • Shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp, scallop, mussel)

    • Certain fish (anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel)

    • Take any medications prescribed by your health care provider.

    • Lose weight if you need to.

    • Control blood pressure and cholesterol.

    • Drink plenty of water to help flush uric acid from your body.

© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.