Gout pain can be debilitating, so using natural remedies can offer gout suffers much relief. Gout is a condition characterized by a buildup of uric acid. Uric acid is the result of purines breaking down, which are found naturally in the human body as well as in food.
Typically, uric acid becomes released from the body through the kidneys and urine, but too much uric acid can crystallize and surround joints and tissue. This crystallization results in pain and swelling and can make walking or even wearing shoes difficult.
Symptoms of gout include joint pain, discomfort, inflammation, redness and limited range of motion. Eating foods high in uric acid – red meat for example – can increase a person’s risk of developing gout, along with being obese, medical conditions like high blood pressure, family history, surgery and trauma.
If you are living with gout and are seeking relief from gout pain, here are 19 natural remedies for gout pain relief.
19 Natural remedies for gout pain relief
Use ice: Anytime we encounter an injury we are advised to apply ice. Ice constricts blood vessels which in turn reduces swelling. Furthermore, a reduction of blood flow to the area can help ease the pain as well.
Rest the joint: Gout pain should be treated similar to an injured body part. The best way to promote healing is to rest, so when you are encountering a gout pain attack the best thing to do is rest. Overuse of the joint will only result in more pain and inflammation.
Avoid alcohol: Alcohol, in particular beer, is high in purines, which get broken down into uric acid. Avoiding alcohol can reduce the amount of uric acid in the body.
Foods to eat: Although foods high in purines can worsen gout, there are specific foods you should eat as a natural remedy for gout pain. Fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains can help ease pain and inflammation associated with gout.
Avoid high-purine foods: This includes oily fish, offal, organ meats, and vegetables such as asparagus and spinach. Purines are metabolized into uric acid, so eliminating them in your diet will help prevent gout. Eating foods that are low in purines will help to reduce uric acid levels in the body. Berries are known for helping to reduce uric acid in the body. Also, staying hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water will ensure your kidney’s filter out uric acid effectively.
Keep your weight down: Being overweight not only increases your risk of gout, it can also worsen gout pain. Losing weight can reduce uric acid in the body and alleviate stress put onto the joints.
Take extra care of your joints: Getting rest and icing joints are effective ways of taking care of your joints. Also minimize the time spent on your joints and lose some weight if you are overweight.
Create gout-friendly socks: Having the affected area cooped up in a sock can cause further irritation. You can simple make gout-friendly socks by cutting out an area of the sock to allow the toe – most commonly the big toe – to poke through. You may also choose to wear open toe shoes or sandals when permitted.
Tame your sheets: Because an affected joint is so sensitive, even the light weight of bed sheets can cause pain. Keep your sheets at calf or ankle level so your foot can be exposed. Tucking them into the mattress will ensure they don’t move about as freely.
Elevate your foot: When blood flows to a specific area it can cause swelling and pain. By elevating the affected foot you can relieve some of the swelling.
Get a cane: Because you don’t want to add unnecessary pressure onto the joints, the use of a cane may be ideal.
Apple cider vinegar: A common natural remedy used by gout patients, taking it as soon as you feel a gout attack coming on may help relieve the associated pain. It works by helping your body become more alkaline with the acidity of apple cider vinegar helping to relieve acute gout pain. You may also consume it by adding one to two tablespoons to a glass of water and drinking it two to three times a day.
Baking soda: A commonly used baking ingredient, this item is also a great natural remedy for gout sufferers. It works by making your body more alkaline, helping to relieve gout symptoms. Most people using baking soda consume half a teaspoon in a glass of water about six times a day to get the best results. However, it is advised that those suffering from high blood pressure limit their baking soda intake as it is very high in sodium.
Cherries: An effective food for lowing uric acid levels due to their high antioxidant properties. A study involving 600 gout patients found that eating half a cup of cherries every day, which is around 10 to 12 cherries, resulted in a 35 percent reduction in the risk of successive gout attacks. Eating two to three servings of cherries further reduced this risk to only 50 percent. If you don’t enjoy the taste of cherries, supplements do exist.
Epsom salt: Commonly added to baths, Epsom salt can also help to relieve gout pain. This is thanks to its high magnesium content that aids in the relaxation of muscles, aches, and pains. To get the best results, add one to two cups of Epsom salts to your bath and soak the affected joint or entire body for at least 30 minutes
Activated charcoal: A common emergency treatment used to prevent drug overdose or poisoning, activated charcoal can also be found in tablet form in your local pharmacy. It helps to absorb uric acid, reducing gout symptoms. You can also choose to soak in a bath mixed with charcoal powder or make a paste and apply it to the affected joint.
Lemon juice: Helps to alkalinize the body, reducing the amount of acid. Lemon juice can be mixed with half a teaspoon of baking soda or simply to water to reap its effects.
These are 19 natural remedies to help gout pain. If pain is unbearable or persistent, you may want to speak to your doctor about specific medications in order to better treat gout. Essentially, easy lifestyle changes should be able to alleviate the majority of pain and swelling caused by gout.