What Do You Do During a Gout Attack?

It’s the holidays and temptation comes calling, saying “eat me, eat me” or “drink me, drink me” and since you are human and not perfect, you stumble and cave in to temptation, only to find yourself suffering from a gout attack at 3 o’clock in the morning. Now comes the hard part of how to deal with this attack and how to stop the pain. Well lucky for you, I’ve been around the block a few times so here are my tips.

First of all, gout attacks come with warnings in the form of a burning, itching or a tingling feeling in the joint and this occurs usually an hour or two before the gout flare-up begins. But I’ve experienced those feelings a day or two before as well, so pay attention to your joints where gout attacks keep reoccuring and learn your body’s signals. Your joint may feel a bit sore or a little stiff and when the gout attack strikes, you’ll most likely have severe pain, swelling and redness in the affected joint, usually the big toe but can also be your knee, elbow, wrist or ankle.

It hurts so much that anything that touches the joint feels so painful that you can’t even bear the pain of your bedsheets touching the inflamed joint. A gout attack can last anywhere from hours to days if treated quickly but left untreated can last for weeks. To best mitigate the pain, it’s best to get your gout treated within 36 hours! Some of you may also suffer from high fever and chills.

Make Sure to Have These Handy!

What you need handy at home is some colchicine and/or some ibuprofen like Advil or Motrin. I tell my doctor to always prescribe me colchicine and have it ready during a gout attack, cause you don’t want to be stuck with your doctor being away during the holidays or away on vacation. If you are on allopurinol or febuxostat, chances are you are taking a certain dose daily as a long-term uric acid lowering therapy, so you always have that medication handy but not colchicine, since it’s widely used to treat gout attacks and then the medication is stopped after you feel better.

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

Colchicine is effective when taken within 12 to 24 hours after your gout attack. Colchicine can be a cause to major gut problems if taken in a high dose and is important to follow your doctor’s recommended dose. For most people, this means taking no more than two to four tablets a day.

Got no colchicine? Then ibuprofen is a must since it’s available at your local pharmacy over-the-counter. Take it to remove the edge off your pain, it makes it much easier to walk around while you wait to visit your doctor to prescribe you colchicine, NSAIDs or provide you with other advice and medication depending on the severity of your gout. Whatever you do, do not take aspirin since it can affect your uric acid level by worsening your attack.

Some other tips

You got no colchicine and no ibuprofen? Ouff! Make sure to rest that joint as much as possible until the pain lessens. Use some cold compresses or cold packs and place it on the affected joint to lessen the inflammation for about 20 to 30 minutes several times a day. Drink lots of water, by drinking more water it will stabilize your uric acid levels, flushing the excess. Make sure to read my post on water to understand its many benefits for us gout sufferers.

Aim for 8 to 16 cups of water daily. Watch what you eat, that means avoiding all of the forbidden gout foods like organ meats, seafood, alcohol especially beer, foods or beverages with high fructose corn syrup or high in purines and limit your meat intake as much as you can.

I also suggest if you’re going to walk, to walk with a cane, to keep pressure off of your affected joint. I’ve done this before and helps tremendously. There are many other home remedies listed in many different posts on my website that you can check out as well.

Whatever the case may be, make sure to let your doctor know as soon as you can and if this is your first gout attack you’re gonna need to visit your doctor to run some blood tests and suggest a urate lowering therapy. If your symptoms don’t somewhat improve within 48 hours, then it’s best to call your doctor and may suggest a different treatment.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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    36 replies to "How to Stop a Gout Attack"

    • Monica

      My husband has been suffering from the same gout flare-up for over two months now. We have been to a podiatrist several times and urgent care. He is currently taking Colchicine at high doses, steroids, and he does take meds for HBP. He also had a steroid shot in the ankle joint last week. The pain has not lessened at all. His ankle is still swollen and hot and he still has trouble walking and having pain.
      He is miserable. What else can we do?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Over 2 months! My goodness.

        Best to seek the advice of 2 different rheumatologists and take it from there, his gout sounds very serious.

    • Kim Donegan

      My first gout flare happened in January of this year. The doctors haven’t been able to get my initial flare under control. I have done the colchicine oral steroids for over 5 months. 2 steroid injections. Indomethacin and I’m on allopurinol. Uric acid bloodwork has always been low. I’m very frustrated and the docs have no other ideas.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Kim!

        Try and seek the advice of 2 rheumatologists instead of GPs. They are specialists of gouty arthritis and other forms of arthritis. Good luck!

    • Shweta

      My husband is 30 years old and he is suffering from gout from last 2 months. He is having allopurinol and indomethacin (as needed). The pain sometimes is less but when he tries to walk for sometime, then pain becomes very high. We tried all the home remedies as well. The doctor is suggesting to give steroid injection on the toe area as the swelling and pain is not going away from last 2 months. Please suggest something which can help to reduce pain and inflammation and also is it fine to take steroid injection or he should wait for some more time to heal? Thanks!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Has he tried colchicine? That should work best! Ask your doctor to prescribe him some. If that doesn’t work then do NSAID injection. Good luck!

    • My love

      My husband is feeling his gout not in pain can we catch it in time we are on vacation and he left his medication home it’s not bad but I do wanna enjoy this last night I have 800 ibuprofen that is it he laid down for 3 hours and he did put his foot up help me please

    • RB

      All- the lifesaver for me is a methyl-prednisone seven day dose pack. As soon as you feel the onset, if you take it right away you won’t have an attack. It’s a miracle drug of sorts for gout suffers. My doc always prescribes one that I take with me everywhere.

      • My love

        Can he just take the otc medicine and can he catch it In time ? No flare up just a little sore. Help please we are on vacation.

    • Shaun Carrie

      Hi Spiros, my doctor has given me Indometacine 50mg 3xa day. Started them yesterday and so far not much change. I am being force fed water by my other half but have no appetite at all. What can I do to try to get something inside of me. Ì don’t know what to do as the pain is severe. Hope you can help me as I have not eaten anything for days..

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Shaun!

        Are you saying that the medication is not doing anything? If that is the case, you have to give it a bit more time. It doesn’t work overnight, usually takes a few days to kick in for the pain to disappear.

        How come you haven’t eaten in days? Is the pain affecting your appetite?

    • Kim Parkinson

      What if I took the colchicine when I first got the itching, burning pain before the flare as I just did, will it make it

      • Spiro Koulouris

        It shouldn’t, colchicine is given mostly during periods of inflammation to treat the affected joint. But as you take the first one by the next day your flare-up can worsen but will probably heal faster cause of your quick reaction.

    • Rollenn

      Can I take allopurinol and Nutrigout at the same time as a daily maintenance medicine?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yes! Most gout sufferers take it with allopurinol, NutriGout is not a gout cure but rather a dietary supplement that is supposed to supplement your gout diet and provide the right nutrients to keep your liver and kidneys healthy which is the area of the body that is responsible for uric acid.

    • Sabin Karki

      Is it possible to have higher level of uric acid at the age of 26 ??? My uric acid level is 9.3. I am maintaining my diet/Drink but the uric acid level is increasing day by day.

    • Cek

      I’ve been suffering with gout attacks for many years and once again these past few weeks it has became worse for me. I’m currently in bed as I write this note.
      I’m on Colchicine as a prevention rememdy but it doesn’t always keep a bout of gout from recurring. What to do???

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Try and ask your doctor if you can go on allopurinol instead of colchicine which is a much harsher drug.

    • MarkH

      I am a new gout sufferer having my 1st attack in Jan 2017 and the 2nd in Feb 2017. When it hits it is in my big toe and the toe beside it. Having just come off of a round of Colchicine I decided to try drinking Tart Cherry Juice to manage some tingling that was occurring in my 2nd toe. I drank about half of the recommended serving of 175ml and later that evening had an attack of gout in my 2nd toe. This time it was not a full blown attack but painful none the less. I saw that there are 70g of sugar in the recommend serving of the Tart cherry juice so even with the reduced amount that I had I am wondering if this is too much sugar to ingest at once? The only other significant sugar I had that day would have been in the banana I have with my cereal in the morning. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated as I’m finding it tough to figure out a safe diet. BTW, I have enjoyed reading through the articles on your website. I find them helpful as I try to find a way to manage my gout.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Mark!

        Thanks for your question.

        Yes problem with drinking tart cherry juice or any other cherry juice is the sugar intake. 70 grams of sugar is on the high end. I recommend a daily intake of around 25 grams of sugar a day, since as gout sufferers we are more sensitive to sugar and how it affects our uric acid. Like I tell everyone you are better off with a Tart Cherry Extract dietary supplement. You can buy mine or anybody else’s but as long as you skip the sugar, that’s what really counts.

        • James

          I have mild gout, but I found if I drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day with some whole milk then I avoid outbreaks. I usually have one outbreak a year from eating crawfish and drinking beer (hard to avoid in Louisiana).

    • Edmund A.

      Hi I’m currently suffering a gout attack as of the moment and I’m wondering if taking naproxen can help? I haven’t taken any medicines yet to ease the pain. What else fan you suggest? Thank you!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Unfortunately Edmund I am not a doctor and I don’t give any medical advice since I do not even know enough about your health. Best to consult your doctor.


    • Paul


      Just wanted to ask if exercising like riding a bike will make it worse when I am suffering from gout? I rode my bike yesterday and just endured the pain, but I think I made it worse. What do you think? Thanks

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Paul!

        When suffering from a gout attack it is best not to inflame the joint any further by doing exercise cause it may push your pain and inflammation to last longer. If you want to heal quickly best to avoid exercise until you are 100% pain free.

    • kaleem mohammed

      In the case of gout, exercise naturally helps reduce uric acid levels by normalizing insulin. In general, exercise is a ‘prevent-all’ when it comes to any health issues.
      Though gout is said to partly genetic and may not be completely preventable, you can absolutely reduce the occurrence and severity of flare-ups with these natural treatments.

    • Beth

      I am very interest in purchasing some of these products for gout. However, I have a question. I take medicine for high blood pressure along with a diuretic. I read some where that a diuretic can contribute to gout. I wonder if anyone knows anything about this. Thank you so much for all the information on this site.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Beth!

        Yes it can and you can read more about it on my post about Gout and Diuretics.

        • Beth

          Thank you very much for your reply. Your site is a treasure of knowledge. I will continue to read and learn and will soon be purchasing your products.

    • […] In conclusion, a gout attack can last anywhere from a day to several weeks depending what stage you are in, diet, lifestyle and treatments all come into play. To learn more on how to stop a gout attack, make sure to read this post. […]

    • Ady Saxman

      Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before every meal, and add a daily dose of bicarbonate of soda. Absolutely marvelous for gout sufferers! I know because I’m one myself.

    • vinz

      My Father suffering from gout since four years,at first attack we brought him to a doctor,after we discharged him from the hospital,he feels more pains to his body a severe pains to his joints,w/c bring him to trauma not to go back in the hospital because he notices that his gout makes even worse,,now still his suffering in gout,his ankle having puss already,sometimes he has fever becoz of his inflammation,and now we are so confuse of what we are going to do bcoz he really dont want to go to a doctor anymore,what he only want is to have a home effective remedy to his severe ill.Could someone give any advice’s of what some other remedies can effectively cured to my father’s gout??plzz,,more advices….God bless..

    • Donna

      Excellent article Spiro!

      I just got diagnosed with gout..me an in shape athletic type, who eats healthy, but apparently not healthy enough! I have book marked your site and will be reading your recommendations.

    • Atul Sinha

      Iam at the age of 58 years. The first gout attack on one of my ankle happened in the year 1999. After that I use to be affected with Gout pain very often and sometimes it use to effect my left ankle and sometimes to right ankle.Now a days if I am effected with Gout pain it last atleast for three days. Normally I use to take Zyloric in normal course but when the severe pain occurs I use to Colchincine and Butaproxivon as a pain killer.I avoid taking protiens food. Please suggest what else I do to avoid such pain.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Atal just read all my posts on my website, you’ll get plenty of tips on home remedies, foods to eat and avoid, etc…You can also check out my ebook which explains my philosophy of what a gout diet should consist of and what foods you should eat more and what foods you should eat less and why.It’s great that you are avoiding foods high in protein, make sure to limit your meat intake and protein should never be more than 10% of your daily calories so about 200 calories should come from protein on daily basis. Drink plenty of water at least 8 glasses a day, you’ll notice a difference and cut out any alcohol, juices and soft drinks.

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