Gout is one of the forms of arthritis. It typically presents as a sudden and intense pain. Other characteristic symptoms include tenderness, heat, redness, and swelling. All these affect joints, especially large joints. Common examples of joints where you may have gout pain include your big toe, ankles, feet, knees, wrists, and hands. The attack could last up to about 10 days. In this article, we will talk about how to relieve gout pain the natural way. There are lots of natural remedies for gout pain. You can use these remedies in the comfort of your home and get amazing results. However, if you find no relief after a week of using natural remedies, you should visit your doctor to get medical treatment.
Gout pain is caused when crystals of uric acid accumulate in the body. Uric acids are waste products that your body forms when it breaks down purines. You can’t avoid purine breakdown, because they are naturally found in foods such as asparagus, organ meats, herring, anchovies, and mushrooms. But then, not everybody has issues with the buildup of uric acid. When this buildup happens, it causes inflammation in the joints (arthritis), which leads to the development of gout pain. Gout has no cure, but you can find ways to relieve pain and reduce uric acid accumulation. Natural remedies can also help prevent gout flare-ups and keep the condition in remission.
How to Relieve Gout Pain the Natural Way
1. Drink lots of water
If you have gout, you may experience a high degree of inflammation and swelling. There are ways to combat these. One of them is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
By increasing your fluid consumption, you would be able to boost your kidney functions. Your kidneys are largely responsible for clearing fluid out of your body. When you kick-start your kidneys, they would clear out excess fluid, which would, in turn, reduce swelling and pain.
Water is your best bet, but any other clear fluid may work as well. Examples include herbal teas, broths, etc. You should, however, avoid sodas and alcohol which have lots of purines in them.
You should take precautions with drinking lots of water if you have kidney or heart issues. Speak with your doctor before you go ahead with this remedy.
2. Vitamin C
There seems to be enough evidence to conclude that vitamin C may reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. Experts gave 500mg of vitamin C to some people with gout for 2 months. After the period elapsed, they all had significantly lower levels of uric acid.
As such, vitamin C could be the definitive natural solution for gout prevention and treatment. However, we need more studies and research to ascertain this.
If you have kidney disease, please consult your doctor before you take Vit. C supplements. Be careful with Vitamin C if you have hemochromatosis too. This supplement can increase the absorption of iron.
You should also watch out if you are hypertensive, especially if you are being treated with propranolol. Vitamin C can interfere with propranolol absorption. You should seek your doctor’s counsel before you take vitamin C if this is your case.
Also, try not to exceed 1000mg daily. If you take more as high as 2,000mg in a day, you may experience gas, diarrhea, and/or digestive upset.
3. Apply ice to the affected joint
You could cover an ice pack with a piece of cloth and apply it to the affected joint. This would reduce inflammation and give relief from gout pain. It is better if you make use of a not-too-thick towel.
Apply the ice pack for not more than 10 to 15 minutes in a stretch. Allow the joint to rest a little before you apply again if need be.
If the gout pain is in your feet, it may hurt to use ice packs. But you can make use of frozen vegetables instead. Cover the vegetables with a clean washcloth. This would drape over your feet with no troubles.
4. Reduce stress
Gout symptoms tend to flare up when there is too much stress. Stress can also further worsen your symptoms.
In all honesty, you probably would not be able to eliminate stress. However, you can reduce it to the barest minimum. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish this:
- Moderate exercise like brief walking (except the pain limits movement)
- Take some time off work
- Read your favorite storybook
- Listen to cool calming music
- Practice meditation
- Most importantly, get enough rest every night
5. Eat more Cherries
Cherries are well-known as an effective home remedy in treating gout pain. You should take like a half-cup or cherry daily if you are treating gout. That should weigh about one pound.
You may choose to eat your cherry just as is, blend it into a shake, or dilute the blend with some water to drink it as a juice. There is also the option of cherry extracts that you can buy from health food stores.
Consuming cherries would help reduce the levels of uric acid in your system. But that’s not all. It will also help to reduce inflammation. You would see significant results in less than three hours after you consume cherries.
When To See a Doctor
The standard practice is to let your doctor know whenever you have flare-ups of gout pain. Even if you are using natural treatments, you should still carry your doctor along. He will be able to monitor how effective your natural treatment plan is and guide you on what you could do.
However, certain situations call for quick medical attention. You should see a doctor immediately if:
- You are having a flare-up for the first time
- Your temperature is very high and you have chills
- You see no improvement in your symptoms after 2 days
- There is still gout pain after 1 week, even if there have been some improvements
Now that you know how to relieve gout pain naturally, you should find them easier to manage. You don’t have to go through weeks of excruciating pain again. And you don’t have to swallow pills all the time. These natural remedies are highly effective.