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Can Gout be Cured?

Raising Awareness about the Hope to Cure Gout

Gout is a very painful condition where the joint is red, hot, tender, and swollen. It also can occur in patients suffering from acute inflammatory arthritis and was mistakenly assumed from over indulgence and not following a healthy lifestyle. Gout most often occurs in the big toe, which is seen by doctors in approximately 50 percent of cases. However, many patients with gout also present with kidney stones, tophi, and urate nephropathy.

The cause of gout is simple and it is easy to treat, making it the most curable arthritic condition. The question of treatment and occurrence for patients with recurring gout is complicated. Gout can easily be kept under control and patients can be "cured' if ongoing treatment is given and alcohol is avoided, as it is the main cause.

Study Shows Patients Need Stronger Doses of Medication for Gout

Gout is very painful and becoming increasingly common. Two related studies performed at the University of Nottingham enrolled patients who believed that their condition was caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Researchers interviewed the subjects and found these people experienced a lack of understanding of the condition, as well as a lack of awareness on how to effectively treat it.

Gout can be treated effectively using allopurinol, which reduces urate levels in the body to a point that they are below saturation. Gout is caused by sodium urate crystals forming around the joints and causes painful swelling and redness. If the patient suffering from gout would take preventative and ongoing treatments of allopurinol, the urate levels in the body would go below saturation.

When this appropriate treatment is given to gout sufferers, eventually, any urate crystals already formed would be eliminated. The regimen of treatment would be ongoing to stop the development of urate crystals around the joints. It was found, however, by these rheumatic researchers that only about a third of patients are given the urate lowering therapy, and of those given treatments, the dosage is not sufficient to effectively cure the condition.

Patients Improve with Drug Therapy and Lifestyle Changes

In another study also performed at the University of Nottingham, 100 patients with gout were given a treatment package for gout including education, lifestyle changes, and escalating drug therapy. The results were impressive, showing 92 percent of those patients achieved a reduced level of urate in the body to begin eliminating bouts of gout, with acute attacks reported as fewer than the year before. Once patients came off of the preventative treatment, their symptoms did start to come back and revert to previous findings.

The main obstacle in successful treatment of gout is the lack of education in patients suffering from arthritis and gout. Many consider the comical illustrations of patients suffering from this painful condition and believe there is nothing that they can do other than suffer through it until the next attack comes on. In fact there is something they can do, and the University of Nottingham is assisting in giving better education to patients and health professionals about preventative care to cure attacks of gout.

Conclusions

A new study led by the University of Nottingham is studying another package care to treat gout, but it is being offered in a general practice setting instead of the previous hospital setting. It is hoped that nurse-led management of gout will see better success than that in the hospital setting. The study hopes to recruit more than 700 subjects over two years. Researchers hope that if this study is successful, they can persuade governments to give this disease more attention and hopefully provide the elusive cure that so many patients hope for but do not realize is already possible.

Resource:

http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-today-magazine/160-spring-2013/gout-a-step-closer-to-the-elusive-cure.aspx

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