This could be yet a common but really inconvenient to us. It seems to be an old disease which is becoming more common, but it’s highly treatable and even curable given the prompt and right care. Let us know more about this condition.
What is Gout?
Gout comes from gutta, Latin for drop, a reference to the belief that it was caused by a drop-by-drop accumulation of humors in the joints. Clinically, gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood that can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling (1). Gout has several stages, namely: asymptomatic hyperuricemia, the period prior to the first gout attack; acute gout, happens when something causes uric acid levels to spike or jostles the crystals that have formed in a joint, triggering the attack; interval gout, the time between attacks; and chronic gout, develops in people with gout whose uric acid levels remain high over a number of years (2).
This buildup of uric acid or gout affects your feet where you feel swelling and pain in the joints of your foot, particularly your big toe and sudden and intense pain, or gout attacks, can make it feel like your foot is on fire (3). It is a complex disease where it can be attributed by a variety of factors like certain conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders, can cause your body to produce too much uric acid, drinking too much alcohol can also lead to excess uric acid and even foods can also cause gout when you eat too much of them (4).
9 Home Remedies for gout:
- Water – Water keeps the body hydrated and staying hydrated helps flush out uric acid that causes your joint pain and prevents kidney stones, another possible problem associated with high uric acid levels (5). So drink plenty of it and flush excess uric acid out of your body. Clean water is readily available at home and it’s free. Staying hydrated is one effective way of limiting gout flares. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day if you can (6). You may increase your intake to 16 glasses a day when the need arises (7).
- Lemon juice – The best way to relieve gout pain and swelling is to reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream (8). Drinking lemon juice does this. It helps alkalize your body naturally, thus, reducing uric acid in the blood (9). It may help balance uric acid levels because it helps make the body more alkaline, which means it slightly raises the pH level of blood and other fluids. This happens because drinking lemon juice causes your body to release more calcium carbonate, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (10). The calcium mineral bonds to uric acid and breaks it down to water and other compounds making your blood less acidic and lowers uric acid levels in the body (11). Squeezing half a lemon in a glass of 8 oz of water and drinking it up to three times a day is how many gout patients do it.
- Vitamin C – Evidence suggests that vitamin C may help to reduce uric acid levels (12). In a study conducted, 184 people took either vitamin C supplements or a placebo. After two months, uric acid levels were significantly reduced in people taking vitamin C but not in the people taking the placebo (13). Vitamin C, with its uricosuric effect, reduces the serum concentration of uric acid as shown in one study, 500 mg/day for 2 months reduced uric acid by a mean of 0.5 mg/dL in patients without gout (14). Take this vitamin C regularly to experience its effects.
- Cherries – They are tasty and also provide relief from gout deposits. They are rich in ascorbate and anthocyanins which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (15). Patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks, as compared to those who did not eat the fruit, reveal a study conducted by Boston University (16). This is so because cherries contain a high level of an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property known as anthocyanins. Cherries also contain vitamin C, which has been shown to contribute to lower levels of uric acid (17).
- Epsom Salt – Gout is the buildup of uric acid in the joints that cause pain and inflammation and epsom salt is said to be one of the best topical cures for inflammation (18). It is very relaxing for the body and muscles as it removes toxins from the body and soothes the inflamed joints (19). The warmth of the water will help to alleviate the swelling as well as the pain (20). The presence of magnesium which is an alkaline mineral in epsom salt also helps to treat gout. Before taking a bath, simply add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt in your bath and soak your entire body or affected joint, for at least 30 minutes (21).
- Ginger – Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help relieve the joint inflammation seen in gout (22). Both carom seeds and ginger work towards making you sweat, which help in removing the uric acid from the body. Moreover, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which relieve pain and swelling (23).
- Olive oil – Olive oil contains healthy fats that exert an anti-inflammatory effect on the swollen joints in gout and arthritis (24). The polyphenols present in olive oil are responsible for this beneficial property (25). Clinical studies prove that olive leaf is effective in reducing gout symptoms while other studies reveal that it has powerful antioxidant effects that may also prevent gout attacks (1). You can brew fresh or dried olive leaves in a tea and drink up.
- Exercise – Exercise reduces the level of uric acid in the body by normalizing insulin levels and helps to reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups (26). Staying physically active is part of a healthy lifestyle, and it may help prevent a future gout attack. It is also a best way to lose unwanted weight since being overweight or obese is a risk factor for gout (27). Lack of exercise can weaken your muscles and joints. With exercise, you are able to manage your gout symptoms and promote faster healing (28).
- Banana – Eating a low-purine diet should lower uric acid production, which might, in turn, reduce gout attacks and bananas are a low-purine food (29). They’re also high in Vitamin C, which reduces swelling and pain. In addition, the high levels of potassium in bananas convert uric acid crystals in the body into liquid, which will then exit the body through urination (30). Try adding one or two bananas to your daily food intake and you’ll see the difference.
Gout attacks can be painful and exhausting. Because of the pain, people turn to remedies that can soothe the pain quickly. Treatments, including home remedies, can reduce symptoms and help prevent future occurrences of this condition. However, it is important to maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly and eating the right food in order to help manage the condition. While it is true that there are a few legitimate home remedies for gout out there, prescription medications remain important in treating gout, during an acute attack as well as over the long term to reduce gout attacks in the first place. See your doctor for treatments.