Gout is caused by urate crystals being deposited in your joint. The urate crystals are produced when our body has too much uric acid in it. Dietary changes are critical in maintaining proper health and preventing a gout attack. Organ meats are also very important to avoid. Organ meats, such as liver, contain purines, which when they break down to uric acid can overload our body.
Certain foods can actually decrease the amount of uric acid in our body. Coffee, believe it or not, can actually decrease the amount of our uric acid in our body. Fruits that contain vitamin C can also decrease the uric acid. For years, the old wives' tale was: "Eat a cherry a day and you can keep the gout away." It has actually been proven to be true. Some of the darker berries can also decrease the amount of uric acid in your body.
You've been modifying your diet, and you still get a gout attack. What do you do? First, take some anti-inflammatories and call your doctor. We have very good medications in managing an acute gout attack. These would include oral anti-inflammatories, a medication called Colchicine, and in some cases steroids like Prednisone. There are also great medications in preventing future attacks. Medications can control your level of uric acid, or actually help you excrete the uric acid more effectively.
Gout needs to be treated. Do not ignore it. The consequences of recurrent gout attacks include arthritis, tophaceous deposits, which are accumulations of little nodules around your joints, or actually even kidney stones. Seek medical attention should you have any of these symptoms. And as always, if you have redness, swelling, and fever, go to your local emergency room. It's probably not a gout attack, but a more serious infection.