Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I prevent gout attacks?"
I'm a 48 year old male, who suffers from gout occasionally. I am unemployed and lost my health insurance so I can't afford the allupurinol which my doctor had prescribed. At that time my uric acid level was at 13. I am looking for ways to proactively control my gout myself. Please give me advice of things I can do without expensive, prescription drugs or, if possible, more trips to the doctor.
As you know, gout can be a very crippling and painful disorder that can require lifelong therapy to help control the symptoms. Certain lifestyle changes can help reduce your uric acid level. This includes reducing the amount of alcohol you take in (especially beer and liquor), as well as the amount of purine-rich foods. This category includes beef, organ meats, anchovies, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms. However, with a uric acid level of 13, these changes may not be enough to reduce your level back to within the normal range. For this reason, you should talk to your doctor about ways of securing your medication for less money. Your doctor should be able to put you in touch with a social worker or other financial planner to discuss your options for payment. Some drug companies offer medications at a reduced price to those patients in dire need who cannot afford them otherwise. If you experience an acute gout flare and have no contraindications to taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), then you can try taking some Ibuprofen to help bring you relief. This medication often works as well as other prescription-strength NSAIDs in treating acute gout.
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