During gout, painful crystals are deposited in certain joints, in particular in the feet. The crystals are made of uric acid, a chemical that is increased in persons with gout. Treatment is directed to reduce pain and where possible, reduce the uric acid in your blood.

In treatment of gout, we try to provide relief from the acute attack as quickly as we can, then we try to prevent further attacks or complications with mediation to reduce uric acid in the blood.

Men are more often affected with gout than women. Certain foods such as liver, kidneys, sweet breads and sardines predispose to this condition.

Important Points in Treatment

Activity: During the acute attack, you will be made much more comfortable if you rest. Keep the weight of bed-cloths off any painful joint by using a cradle which raises the sheets off your body.

Diet: You may eat moderate amounts of any foods that appeal to you except liver, sweetbreads, kidneys and sardines. Drink 8-10 glasses of fluid daily. Do not drink alcoholic beverages.

General Measures: You may try either warm or cold compresses on painful joints. Use whichever best decreases your discomfort.

Medication: Acute attacks are treated with an anti-inflammatory (such as Indocid), and medication for pain. If your uric acid level is high, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower the level in your blood. Such medication must be taken as prescribed.


  • Diarrhea or vomiting not stopped by discontinuing your prescribed medication.
  • Temperature over 101 F or 38 C orally.
  • Skin rash.
  • Sore throat, red tongue or bleeding gums.
  • Inability to obtain relief in 3 days despite the careful following of all your instructions.

NOTE: Visit your physician for further evaluation. If the acute attack is over at that time, your doctor will explain the measures to prevent further attacks, or how to treat them if they should occur.

From the Riverside Hospital of Ottawa
Revised July 1993