If you have ever experienced gout attacks before, you know how painful and exhausting they can be. Since there is no cure for gout, home remedies might be your best option to try and ease the symptoms. You can find down below 8 best natural gout remedies, to reduce uric acid in your blood and soothe the swelling and inflammation in your joints.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes swelling and pain in the joints. It occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body. That excess uric acid can build up in your joints and form urate crystals, which cause gout symptoms, like pain and swelling.
Gout most commonly attacks the joints of the big toe, ankles and knees.
If you experience sudden, intense pain in a joint and suspect it could be gout, the first thing you should do is visit your doctor. Not treating gout can lead to worsening the symptoms and it can prolong the attacks.
However, since there is no cure for gout, natural gout remedies and changes in lifestyle (after consulting with your doctor!) can also help a lot to keep the flare-ups under control.
One of the most important things you can do is reduce the intake of food that increases levels of uric acid. This includes:
- alcohol (especially beer)
- red meat
- organ meat (liver, kidney and sweetbreads)
- some types of seafood (tuna, shellfish, anchovies, sardines)
Here’s what you should use instead, to help you with the gout symptoms:
8 Best At-Home Gout Remedies
Drinking lots of fluids a day is being recommended often these days for treating all sorts of conditions. When we talk about gout, the positive impact of drinking a lot of water is undeniable.
Taking plenty of water helps the kidneys to flush out the excess uric acid. That way, water helps dilute the very cause of gout attacks, making the attacks shorter and symptoms easier.
Also, dehydration has been identified as one of the possible triggers of acute gout attacks.
2. Lemon juice
Regular intake of lemon juice helps reduce the gout symptoms. It can also help prevent gout in people with high levels of uric acid in blood.
Apparently, taking freshly squeezed lemon juice every day makes the body more alkaline and that way it helps balance out the uric acid levels. To prevent future flare-ups, you should be taking fresh juice of 1 or 2 lemons diluted in 2 liters of water every day.
Lemon juice also lowers the risk of developing kidney stones, which may occur as a complication of gout.
Cherries are probably the most popular natural remedy for gout, and with a good reason.
Two studies and years of practical experience have shown that cherries and cherry juice indeed have a positive impact on gout symptoms. Cherries contain high levels of anthocyanins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the human body.
If you have gout, it is recommended that you eat a handful of cherries or drink a glass of tart cherry juice every day, though the exact amounts may depend on the intensity of your symptoms.
Ginger is also one of the best natural gout remedies, since it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can help you treat the pain, swelling and inflammation, both when you take it internally and apply topically.
To make ginger compresses, add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger to boiling water. Remove from the heat and soak a washcloth in the mixture. When it cools down, apply the cloth to the painful area. (Patch-test first! Ginger can cause skin sensitivity.) Keep it like that for 20 – 30 minutes.
You can also use ginger tea to relieve the pain and swelling. But consult your doctor before using big amounts of ginger, as it can interact with some drugs and worsen certain conditions.
5. Green tea
Green tea has amazing health benefits for us. It is full of powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. It also has detoxifying, healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
All of these benefits of green tea can help in preventing and controlling gout attacks. And if you regularly take green tea, it can even help in lowering the levels of uric acid.
If you suffer from gout, it is recommended that you drink 2 – 4 cups of green tea every day.
6. Milk and yogurt
Milk and yogurt are some of the best things to include in your diet if you have gout. Studies have shown that proteins found in low fat milk and dairy products help with excretion of uric acid in the urine.
Drinking low-fat milk reduces the uric acid levels in your blood and prevents gout attacks. Make sure to include this type of food in your everyday menus.
7. Ice packs
As with any cases of swelling and inflammation, ice packs can help you control the pain and ease the symptoms.
You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables or crushed ice wrapped in a cloth or thin towel. Apply to the painful area for around 20 minutes several times a day.
Also, elevating the foot so that it is higher than the rest of your body can help reduce swelling. So, make sure to raise your foot on a couple of pillows before putting ice on it.
8. Reduce the stress
In the end, one of the best remedies for gout is to reduce the stress levels and have a balanced everyday routine. It has been proven that stress can prolong and intensify the symptoms of gout.
Of course, these days it is not always easy to avoid the stress triggers. But even small changed in your everyday life can make a huge impact on the flare-ups, as well as your general well-being.
Healthy diet and maintaining your body weight at an optimal level is one of the most important steps that can help with both preventing gout attacks and keeping the stress levels under control.
Moderate exercises are also helpful, but only as much as the gout allows it – gout can cause stiffness and pain and forcing your joints through it can be contra productive. A long, relaxing walk can be a better gout remedy than intense gym workout.
And, of course, consistent good night sleep is essential for keeping stress levels at minimal.