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Gout has been present in your society for centuries, and it’s has been known as the rich man’s disease or the disease of kings. It’s a very painful form of inflammatory arthritis. Nowadays, it’s affecting more and more people every year. Researchers estimate that by 2025 around 3.6 million people will be affected in the USA.
If you have gout, you might be wondering if medication is the only answer. Well, there are some home remedies for gout that you can try and see if they make you feel better. They won’t relieve the pain immediately, that’s why it’s important to continue to take your medication. Also, it’s never a bad idea to consult with your doctor.
But first, let’s talk about the culprit behind gout.
What Causes Gout?
Gout doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of a health problem that has been going on for a while without you noticing. The culprit behind gout is called uric acid. But what exactly is the role of this acid?
When your body breaks down purines – compounds found in cells and certain foods like meat – uric acid is formed. Usually, it travels through your blood and reaches the kidneys. Then you eliminate it with your urine.
But some people overproduce uric acid, and their kidneys don’t manage to get rid of it. Other produce normal amounts, but their kidneys don’t process it efficiently.
What’s the result? Uric acid build-ups in the body and needle-like crystals are formed in the tissues and the joint fluids. That’s very bad news because these needle-like crystals trigger pain and inflammation in your joints and surrounding areas.
The presence of high levels of uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia. But not all people that have hyperuricemia will develop gout. Also, people who don’t have high levels of uric acid might develop gout.
There are several risk factors for developing gout:
- Gender. Men are more likely to develop gout because they produce higher levels of uric acid than women. But can women get gout, you ask? Yes, they can. After you go through menopause, your levels of uric acids are close to those produced by men.
- Alcohol. It interferes with the disposal of uric acid.
- Diet. There are certain foods that cause gout. Meat and seafood are high in purine. This increases the amounts of uric acid in the blood.
- Exposure to lead.
- Diuretic medication or drugs containing salicylate.
- Obesity. If you are overweight, this means that your body produces more uric acid as part of your body’s natural metabolism.
- Sweet drinks. Research found out that men who consume soft drinks regularly have a higher risk of developing gout.
- Medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and hypothyroidism.
What are the Symptoms of Gout?
As we said, it takes time for gout symptoms to develop. Sometimes it may even take more than ten years. Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Pain, warmth, swelling and tenderness usually in a big toe joint. The pain starts suddenly, and it may continue for hours. Sometimes even a light pressure on the affected area will be intolerable. Gout may affect the feet, ankles, hands, wrists and knees
- Red or purplish skin around the join.
- Decreased joint mobility.
- Peeling and itching of the skin when the swelling goes down.
- Lingering discomfort. After the pain starts to subside, you might still feel some joint discomfort for a few days or a few weeks
- Lumps might develop under the skin around the joint due to the built up of uric acid crystal.
- Symptoms might appear as a result of an illness or trauma
Goat attacks usually:
- Start at night.
- Develop over a few hours.
- Last 3-10 days.
- Become more frequent if left untreated. In this case, the attacks will probably last longer and affect other joints
However, you should know that symptoms may vary. Some people might not experience gout attacks, but feel the pain nearly all the time. This is called chronic gout.
If you don’t get proper help, gout might lead to joint, tendon and tissue damage. Your doctor usually will prescribe you nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicines or corticosteroids.
However, anti-inflammatory drugs have side effects like stomach pain, bleeding, and ulcers. Corticosteroids might lead to mood changes and increased blood sugar and high blood pressure.
This might make you think: Is there a natural way to relieve the pain, once a gout attack starts? Yes, there are some simple home remedies for gout that can help lessen your discomfort. Let’s see what you can prepare at home:
#1 Cherries have anti-inflammatory properties
You probably don’t think it’s possible, but cherries are extremely helpful for treating and preventing gout. There are several reasons for that. Cherries contain powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds. They help you fight inflammation and get rid of free radicals.
Free radicals are known to cause damage and oxidation to the tissues in our body. If you have gout, these free radicals may hinder the kidney’s ability to filter toxins. This can lead to the build-up of uric acid.
One of these potent anti-inflammatory compounds is anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are what give the cherries their rich, dark colors. More importantly, anthocyanins assist in removing uric acids from your bloodstream. They help your body excrete the uric acid in your urine.
What you need to make it work:
- 10-12 cherries
- Consume the cherries daily to reduce the risk of gout attacks.
Consuming three or four serving of cherries doesn’t produce better results. So, don’t overindulge. Also, choose tart cherries. They have a greater concretion of anthocyanins. Moreover, they won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels.
You might ask:Can I drink cherry juice for gout? Yes, you can
- Tart cherry juice
- Green tea or sparkling water
- Mix the tart cherry juice either with green tea or sparkling water.
- Drink regularly
You can also use black cherries or cherry extract pills and supplements. However, consult with your doctor first.
#2 Epsom salts absorb toxin
Epsom salt is a known remedy for numerous illness and conditions. In addition to its health benefits, it also is an excellent remedy for relieving gout-related pain. Let’s see why.
Epsom salt consists of sulfate and magnesium. Sulfate is important for flushing toxins out of your body. It also assists in the formation of joint proteins. Magnesium acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces muscle pain and aids nerve functions. It’s also excellent for your heart and blood pressure.
Both magnesium and sulfate are absorbed through your skin when you take an Epsom salt bath.
- 500 g of Epsom salts
- A bath with hot water
- Add the salts to the hot water.
- Soak your body for 20-30 minutes.
- Repeat two or three times a week.
If gout has affected your foot, you can make yourself a foot bath. Here’s how to do it.
- a basin of hot water
- ½ cup of Epsom salt
- Add the Epsom salt to the hot water
- Soak your foot for 20 minutes.
You can add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar per 2 cups of Epsom salts for better results. If you don’t like to use apple vinegar, you can add 1 ounces of magnesium oil to your bath, in addition to the Epsom salts.
#3 Apple cider vinegar dissolves uric acid
You might have heard that apple cider vinegar is an excellent remedy for dandruff and certain skin conditions. In turns out, it can be helpful in your battle against gout.
Apple cider vinegar contains Malic acid, which plays a role in dissolving uric acid. It also contains potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and acetic acid.
Acetic acid turns into alkaline inside your body. In this way, it forms a pH-balanced environment, and it may prevent the onset of gout symptoms.
According to Thomas Baroody’s book “Alkalize or Die”, drinking apple cider vinegar leads to breaking the uric acid crystal and lowers the chances that they would reform again in the joints.
- 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- a glass of water
- honey ( not obligatory)
- Pour the apple cider vinegar in the bowl
- Soak the cloth
- Wrap the cloth around the affected joint.
You can also make yourself a foot bath with apple cider vinegar.
- A cup of apple cider vinegar
- A bucket of hot water
- Add the vinegar to the hot water.
- Soak the affected limb for around 30 minutes.
- Repeat daily until you start to feel better
For this home remedy to work, you have to choose the right type of apple cider vinegar. What you use in your kitchen for cooking won’t do the trick. You need to use the unfiltered, raw version of apple cider vinegar. It retains most of its major ingredients since it doesn’t go through much processing.
Also, if you are on gout medication, don’t stop them and consult your doctor beforehand.
#4 Baking soda increases the blood’s pH levels
Baking soda has numerous applications even outside the kitchen. Baking soda is a known alkalizing agent. It increases the pH levels of your blood, and it makes it easier for your kidneys to flush uric acid. Moreover, your blood can hold more uric acid without crystals forming.
When your blood gets alkalized, the same happens with your urine. This means that more uric acid will be excreted.
- one-half teaspoon of baking soda
- a glass of water
- Mix the baking soda with the water.
- Stir until the baking soda dissolves completely.
- Drink the mixture several times a day.
- If you are over 60, don’t drink it more than three times a day.
- Continue drinking the mixture up to two weeks.
Around 85 % of gout sufferers report that baking soda has a positive effect on their symptoms. But before you try this home remedy, talk with your doctor. Baking soda has side effects, including increased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Moreover, if you take prescribed medicine some of them might not interact well with baking soda.
#5 Ginger root relieves symptoms of gout
Ginger is not only useful to add a little spice to your food. An animal trial has shown that ginger reduced the symptom of gout in mice. Ginger also relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and settles an upset stomach.
But why does ginger have such an effect? It contains gingerols and shogaol, which have proven anti-inflammatory properties.
- fenugreek powder
- turmeric powder
- dried ginger root powder
- warm water
- Mix equal amounts of fenugreek, turmeric and dried ginger powder.
- Add one teaspoon of this mixture to warm water.
- Drink twice a day.
- The simplest way to use ginger root for relieving gout is to include it in your cooking recipes. You can also eat a small raw piece of ginger every day.
Avoid ginger for gout if you have a heart disease or a bleeding disorder. Also, avoid it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s not a good idea to mix ginger with certain medications like diabetes drugs and blood thinner.
How to Prevent Gout?
If members of your family have suffered from gout, you are right to be worried. But here are some simple steps you can take to lower your chances of developing gout.
- Watch your diet. Limit your intake of fats and foods high in purine. If you already have gout symptoms, foods to avoid with gout are organ meat like kidney, liver, brains, bacon,pork, beef, game meat, seafood, and gravy.
- Add low-fat dairy products to your meal.
- Limit your alcohol intake, especially beer.
- Watch your weight.
- Drink plenty of liquids. This would lower your chance of developing kidney stones.
You don’t have to despair if you have gout. You’ll have to change your diet and your lifestyle, but it’s not the end of the world.
As you can see, there are plenty of home remedies that you can try in combination with your regular medication. What do you think about them? Have you tried them? Share your experience with home remedies for gout in the comments. We love to hear from you. And don’t forget to like and share the article.