Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs due to excessive uric acid (hyperuricemia) within the blood circulation. Uric acid is a waste component of urine. It is a metabolic by-product formed during the breakdown of purine nucleotides.
Gout can be simple or complex. It is a severe condition, usually affecting the first toe joint, often called Gouty Arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms
Excessive uric acid within the blood accumulates and forms crystals. These crystal formations then lead to the occurrence of
The following signs and symptoms:
- Chronic pain in one or more joints
- The joints feel hot and tender
- Swelling around the affected joint
- Red, shiny skin over the troubled joint
The Best Way to Treat Gout
Although there are many home remedies for gouty arthritis, prescription drugs remain the pillar for treating either an acute attack of gout or a chronic attack. Gout symptoms usually diminish with time, but medications can speed up the healing process and prevent future onset.
The first-line medication treatment for gouty arthritis includes:
- NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) like Naproxen (an OTC medicine for pain relief)
- Colchicine (to reduce the excessive uric acid levels)
- Steroids, such as Prednisolone
Home Remedies for the Treatment of Gout
Although medication remains the mainstay, diet and lifestyle modification play an important role in curing gouty arthritis.
1. Eat More Cherries
A 2012 study examined 633 people with gout and concluded that the risk of gout attack reduced up to 35% by adding cherries to the diet for 2 days compared with no cherry diet patients. The effect continued even after controlling risk factors, such as age, sex, alcohol intake, and use of anti-gout medications.
Cherries and allopurinol, anti-gout drugs, produce synergistic effects and reduce the risk of gout by 75%. A research article published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology recommends that the intake of cherry extract for 2 days will reduce the risk of gout recurrence by 35%.
Anthocyanins are the major active ingredient present in cherries that possess anti-inflammatory effects. The researchers claimed that there are equal beneficial effects for those eating cherries, having cherry juice, as well as taking cherry supplements.
They also found that there is a chance of gout attack reduction by 75% if cherries are taken with prescribed gout medicines.
According to a 2016 survey, cherry extract, whether sweet, sour, red, or black, is a highly successful home remedy, which has been used for years now. This study confirmed that the most effective way is to have three servings of cherry over two days.
2. Increase Your Coffee Consumption
A 2016 review and meta-analysis revealed that coffee consumers are less likely to have gout disease. This is most likely because coffee can decrease uric acid levels in the bloodstream.
Another research also confirmed the theory that coffee intake may decrease gout occurrence. For example, a 2010 analysis in the Nurses’ Health Study stated that the gout risk can be reduced with the increase in coffee intake.
Females consuming 1-3 cups of coffee every day have 22% fewer chances of gout attacks than those who drank no coffee. Likewise, women having more than 4 cups of coffee each day have a 57% less risk of gout condition.
On the contrary, according to research, increased uptake of coffee may lead to chronic kidney disorder and bone fractures in the female population. So it’s better to have a thorough discussion with the physician about the pros and cons.
3. Reduce Stress
A person’s gout condition may worsen because of the high stress levels.
Try reducing all sorts of stress with the help of:
- Break from routine life
- Reading your favorite book
Resting enough may help relieve stress. So before the condition gets more complicated, try to relax until the affected joints feel better. Avoid all kinds of exercise, weight lifting, and excessive joint activities to lessen the treatment duration.
4. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Lots of water intake is good for the proper functioning of the kidney. Healthy kidneys can enhance the removal of uric acid crystals and thus help in the cure of gout. Therefore, make a habit of staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water daily. Furthermore, excessive water intake may help lower inflammation, which is also a significant symptom of gouty arthritis.
Fluid intake other than water (such as broths, herbal teas) is also a good option. However, if you are a patient with Congestive Heart failure, it’s better to consult a doctor before increasing daily uptake of fluids.
5. Limit Alcohol Intake
The risk of gout development increases with the increased consumption of both alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks like sodas and sweetened juices. On top of it, alcohol and sugary beverages add unwanted calories to the diet, leading to weight gain and health issues.
6. Elevating the Infected Joint
Gout involves the pain and swelling in the joints of the feet (top toe joint in particular), arms, ankles, and hands. The best effortless way to diminish swelling is by elevating the affected area. This will allow the blood and fluid to flow away from the specific area towards the heart.
Icing along with elevation is the perfect match!
7. Eat Apples
Eating apples may help with gout reduction. This may be because of malic acid present in apples, which is responsible for lowering uric acid levels. Doctor consultation is always the best precaution, as apples also contain fructose, which may activate hyperuricemia.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! But eating more than that is beneficial only if that doesn’t add excessive daily sugar consumption.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, and Turmeric
The highly recommended natural ingredients for gout are apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and turmeric. When mixed together, they make an excellent beverage for remedy.
Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and turmeric are each frequently recommended anecdotally for gout. Together, they make a pleasant beverage and remedy.
There is no proper research in favor of apple cider vinegar for gout, but several other studies confirm its activity for kidney support. There exists promising research in support of lemon juice and turmeric for their hypouricemic activity.
In a cup of warm water, add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and a half lemon squeezed. Set to your taste. Drink twice or thrice daily for better results.
9. Refrain From Drugs that Raise Uric Acid Levels
Some drugs are bound to cause hyperuricemia as a side effect,
so avoid them. Some of which are:
- Diuretics (also called water pills)
- Low dose Aspirin
- Immunosuppressant drugs
10. Practice an Ideal Body Weight
Obesity is the root of many ailments, of which gout is predominant. Being overweight increases cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which are key elements that maximize the risk of cardiac disease.
However, ideal body weight may help reduce the risk of gout flares. On the other hand, rapid weight loss journeys are dangerous as they may raise uric acid in the body. Therefore, long persistent changes for weight loss should be your goal.
11. Eat More Low-Purine Foods
Purine is a naturally occurring component in some foods. Upon its breakdown, uric acid is produced. Therefore, purine-rich foods may cause gout because of the higher production of uric acid.
An effective way to slowly lower the uric acid levels and avoid severity is by shifting from a purine-rich diet to a low-purine content diet.
Low purine content involves:
- Fruits and veggies
- Most nuts, peanut butter
- No-fat dairy products
- Rice, bread, and potatoes
High purine food items include:
- Alcohol abuse (especially beer and liquor)
- High-fat foodstuff (like dairy items, bacon, red meat)
- Sugary foods
- Sweetened beverages
12. Ginger Intake
Ginger is an appetizing food and herb prescribed for inflammatory conditions. Its activity in treating gout is well-documented too. According to a study, ginger can help reduce pain related to gout when applied topically.
Another study further confirmed that hyperuricemia can effectively be decreased by the use of ginger.
For topical application, mix 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger root in boiling water. Make its paste. Soak a cloth in the mixture, and apply it to the affected joint for at least 15 to 30 minutes. For internal use, take 2 teaspoons of ginger root, put it in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink this mixture three times daily.
Gout is a common medical inflammatory disease that usually occurs along with other serious ailments. However, gout can also occur irrespective of a healthy diet. There is no such rule that only high-purine diets lead to the development of gouty arthritis.
In addition to anti-gout medications, several useful treatments are available to cure gouty arthritis at home. The majority of these are natural with no or minimal adverse effects. However, it’s better to always check with your doctor before adding any supplement to your routine because drug-herbal interactions can be possible.