Gout is a form of arthritis that affects many people, though women are more likely to develop this condition after they have experienced menopause. This condition causes you joints to become red, tender and experience pain quite suddenly. More often than not, this pain affects the joints at the base of the big toes. This pain can be severe to wake you up at night because the joints are so hot, tender and swollen that even the sensation of the sheet resting on your feet can be unbearable. There are many home remedies for gout that can help you keep this discomfort under control so you can avoid long bouts of discomfort.
Home Remedies for Gout
1. Change Lifestyle Habits
- Keep a healthy weight. Obesity is a large risk factor in developing gout. Making a point of maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy diet plan rather than relying on crash diets will help you avoid this condition. Seek out a diet plan that is high in protein while being low in fat for best results.
- Drink enough water. Flushing the system with at least eight 6-ounce glasses of water each day will help prevent gout attacks.
- Avoid alcohol. If you drink large amounts of alcohol you will retain urate that can increase your risk of gout attacks. Studies have shown that drinking liquor and beer in particular increase this risk.
- Relax your body and mind. Your body's response to signals from your tissues can lead to arthritis pain. Lowering your emotional stress and adjusting your attitude toward your condition can help you adjust your natural coping mechanisms. Performing deep breathing exercises can help you encourage your body to relax to help ease your pain when gout attacks occur.
- Wear comfy shoes. Wearing shoes that have a large toe box and provide plenty of room for your foot to relax can help you avoid gout pain.
2. Apply Natural Remedies
- Apples. Apples and apple preserves contain ingredients that can neutralize the acids that cause gout pain. Prepare slices of apple and allow them to simmer in water for at least 3 hours, creating a sweet, brown substance. Refrigerate and use as a preserve for best results.
- Cherries. Cherries help the bodies clean the kidneys and remove toxins from your body. Consuming foods containing cherries can help you remove the acids that can cause gout.
- Mustard powder. Applying a combination of equal parts whole wheat flour and mustard powder mixed with water to form a paste to gout affected joints can provide relief. You can use petroleum jelly to ensure that this mixture sticks to the skin. Cover the area with gauze to help keep the mustard powder in place.
- Thyme. Allowing 1-2 teaspoons of thyme to steep in hot water can create a tea that may provide gout relief.
- Herbs. Taking herbs such as meadowsweet, Devil's claw root, boswellia, feverfew, capsicum, licorice, white willow bark or gingerroot can help reduce inflammation that causes gout pain. An herbalist can provide you with the proper of mixture of herbs to use for your symptoms. Consuming chicory tea can also help you reduce the pain of a gout attack.
3. Have Healthy Diets
- Eat less poultry, meat and fish. Animal protein, particularly those from organ meats, mackerel, herring or anchovies, seafood, fatty fish, or red meat are high in purine that can increase gout pain. Limiting yourself to 4-6 ounces of animal protein daily can help you avoid these symptoms.
- Limit high fat foods. Eating high amounts of saturated fat will limit your ability to eliminate uric acid. This can increase your risk of becoming obese which in turn increases your risk of developing gout. Consuming plant-based proteins and low-fat dairy in place of ingredients high in saturated fat can help you reduce this risk.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; cut back on refined carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like those found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables are healthier and reduce your risk of obesity while refined carbs do not take as much energy to process and can damage your health.
4. Watch Your Medications
- Take OTC anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatories may be more effective than to the above home remedies for gout as they can help reduce the swelling that is contributing to your pain. Avoid aspirin as this can worsen your pain. Ibuprofen is known to be particularly effective in helping people manage gout.
- Avoid nonprescription diuretics. Diuretics can prevent you from excreting uric acid properly, which can contribute to gout risk.
5. Take Care of Your Joint
Besides trying the above home remedies for gout, you can also follow the tips below:
- Ban putting pressure on the joint. When a joint is swollen with gout make a point of keeping pressure off of it until the pain can subside. Putting pressure on your joints when a gout attack is occurring can increase your risk of damaging the area.
- Elevate your joint. Elevating the affected joint can take down swelling that can cause pain.
- Don't move your joint too much. The less you move the gout infected joint, the less painful it will be. Building a splint for your joint can help ensure that it will not move too much.
- Don't ice or heat the area. Gout is not helped by heat or cold therapy. Heat therapy can increase circulation which will increase your symptoms. Icing the area will cause gout crystals to form more readily.