10 Home Remedies for Gout
Gout is a type of arthritis and the cause is generally attributed to a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines which comes from the food that we eat. Gout comes in sudden and usually severe attacks of pain, redness, tenderness and swelling in the joints, most often the affected joint is at the base of the big toe.
Gout attacks suddenly and often wake people up in the middle of the night, with a sensation often described as having the big toe on fire. The joint can be so tender that the weight of bedsheets can be unbearable. Although gout most often occurs in the large joint of your big toe but it also may occur in any other joint. Ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers are also commonly effected by gout. The most severe pain usually happens in the first 12 hours, but lingering pain may often hang around for a few days, and in some cases even a few weeks. People who have the following are most likely to develop gout:
* Diet rich in meat, seafood, sweetened beverages
* Obesity and overweight
* Certain medical conditions such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart and kidney diseases
* Certain medications
* Family history
* Age and gender: gout occurs more often in men because women have lower levels of uric acid. Men also develop gout earlier, usually between the ages of 30-50 years old
* Recent trauma or surgery
It’s important to note that gout can lead to joint damage. If you’re suffering from intense pain in the joint, have a fever, and the joint affected is very hot and inflamed, it’s a good idea to see your doctor right away. If your symptoms aren’t quite on that level, you can try to treat your gout in a natural and healthy way. Here are 10 home remedies for gout:
#1 – Keep Hydrated Staying properly hydrated is a great way to help stop gout before it ever starts. This is a good reason to drink the recommended daily intake of water which is 3.7 litres for men and 2.7 litres for women.
It’s also a great idea to start your day by drinking a glass of water a soon as you wake up in the morning. Leaving a full glass of water on your bedside table so it’s there when you wake up, will help you do that.
#2 – Quit or Reduce Alcohol Intake Avoiding alcohol, in general, is a great idea if you want to avoid gout, but beer especially so. Beer may more likely to increase the risk of developing symptoms of gout over other alcohols. Although it’s important to note that any alcoholic beverage may trigger gout symptoms in people who are prone to this disease.
#3 – Avoid Soft drinks and Sweetened Beverages There have been several studies that have found that there is a link between gout and sugary drinks for both men and women. One sugary drink per day can double the chances of developing gout in women, compared with women who only consume one sugary drink per month.
The risk for men was found to be similar. It’s also interesting to note, that diet soda was not linked to an increased risk of gout attacks. If you have to drink soda it’s a better idea to drink diet soda instead.
#4 – Apply Ice Applying ice to the affected joint can help reduce gout-related swelling, inflammation and pain. It’s important to remember to never apply ice or an ice-pack directly to your skin, always wrap ice or an ice-pack in a cloth or paper towels. Using a bag of frozen peas is also a good idea as it can conform to the shape of your foot cooling it more effectively.
#5 – Elevate the Joint Gout can cause swelling and inflammation and a good way to deal with that is to elevate the affected part of your body. This will help stop the flow of blood to the affected area, and move fluid away as well. It’s a good idea to use an ice/icepack while elevating your joint at the same time.
#6 – Magnesium Magnesium is a mineral that can be supplemented and readily found in many foods. A deficiency of magnesium is often linked to inflammation and other health issues. Having an adequate amount of magnesium in your body is also linked with lower and healthier levels of uric acid, and as a result a lower risk of developing gout or gout attacks.
Magnesium supplements are a great idea, but eating magnesium rich foods will help ensure that your magnesium levels stay at the optimal levels without having to supplement them. Here are some easily accessible magnesium rich foods:
* Dark chocolate
* Leafy greens
* Fatty fish
* Whole grains
#7 – Gout Drink Mixing apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric make for a great tasting beverage and a highly recommended remedy for gout. Each of these ingredients works great for lowering inflammation and turmeric and lemon juice have been shown to lower the levels of uric acid in the body.
#8 – Nettle Tea Stinging nettle tea made is an age-old remedy for many health issues, but it can also help with gout. Stinging nettle tea is a herbal remedy that can help reduce pain, inflammation, and also protect the kidneys. It’s recommended to drink the tea 3 times per day.
#9 – Milk Thistle Although milk thistle has been mainly used as a remedy for liver issues, it has also been shown to lower uric acid levels in the body thus reducing the risk of gout attacks.
#10 – Eat Apples and Bananas Eating apples isn’t only good for your overall health, but it’s also possible that it can help with gout. Apples contain malic acid which works at reducing uric acid. Although there aren’t any scientific studies at this time linking apples as a remedy for gout, there is a ton of anecdotal evidence.
Bananas are thought to help with gout as well because they’re rich in potassium which helps your organs function better9, helping process and lower uric acid levels in your body. Gout is in large part a result of lifestyle, and as with most lifestyle related illnesses can be minimized or reversed by a better and more healthy lifestyle. Although it’s important to remember that if you’re suffering from severe pain, swelling, and inflammation as a result of gout, it’s a good idea to see a doctor immediately. Severe gout left untreated may lead to joint damage.
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Gout References and Gout Information
* Everyday Health: https://www.everydayhealth.com/gout/does-soda-cause-gout.aspx
* National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4633057/
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-high-in-magnesium
* Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology (Scientific Study): https://journals.lww.com/cardiovascularpharm/Abstract/2016/09000/Curcumin_Lowers_Serum_Lipids_and_Uric_Acid_in.6.aspx
* International Journal of Green Pharmacy(Scientific Study): https://www.greenpharmacy.info/index.php/ijgp/article/view/414
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/gout/home-remedies#home-treatments