Gout is a type of arthritis where uric acid crystals collect in the joints. Those joints tend to be the joints of the big toe. The uric acid may also build up in the kidneys. It’s more common in men, though women can get it.
When a gout flare-up occurs, it can make it seem impossible to get up and move around. The pressure of bed sheets on the gout-inflicted toe can be excruciating. The joint may become swollen with hard lumps. That flare-up can last up to 10 days. If your dad is dealing with a gout flare-up, there are ways to keep him on his feet.
Talk to His Doctor About NSAIDs
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like Advil help with the pain and swelling. Talk to his doctor about the best dosage to help ease the discomfort so that he can still get some exercise during a flare-up.
Take Prescription Medications as Directed
If NSAIDs are not helping, there are a few prescription medications that your dad’s doctor may recommend. Corticosteroids help ease the inflammatory response. There’s also Colchicine, which is a medication that helps reduce the amount of uric acid building up in a joint. It also helps reduce swelling.
If Colchicine is recommended, it’s usually recommended within 12 hours of the very beginning of a flare-up. He shouldn’t wait to take it.
Change His Diet
Foods that contain high levels of purine are part of the problem. He needs to change his diet to reduce his consumption of purine-rich foods. That means eliminating beef, pork, and lamb. He needs to avoid alcoholic beverages like beer and liquors that are distilled, such as whiskey or moonshine. He should also avoid certain fish like anchovies and sardines.
Your dad needs to boost his intake of vegetables. He should avoid excess sugar. Low-fat dairy products, healthier fats like olive oil, and plenty of water are also recommended.
Choose Activities That Don’t Put Pressure on the Toes
Your dad can be active without needing to put a lot of weight on his toes. Swimming is one of the ways he can do this. He’ll be a little more buoyant in the water, which reduces the pressure on his feet. Rowing is another way to get exercise. The workout will focus on his upper body while the flare-up is present.
Schedule Elder Care Services
Elder care services are a good option when your dad is dealing with a flare-up. He has a caregiver available to help him with housework, meals, transportation, and medication reminders. Caregivers can remind him to drink enough water throughout the day. An elder care specialist can help you plan the best services and scheduling when gout is present.
For Elder Care Services in Bartlett TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!