Gout is a condition in which excess uric acid crystals build up in the bloodstream and get deposited in the joints. Those who have experienced gout can attest to how incredibly painful it can be.
Gout most often affects the joints in the feet, particularly at the base of the big toe. But it is also common to have it in the ankles, knees, wrists and elbows.
A few minutes or up to an hour before a gout attack, you may feel burning or itching in the joint area. The attack can stop in a few minutes or may even take hours. It can seem like endless hours of pain that you can do nothing about.
Knowing the causes of the condition can help you treat gout and prevent gout attacks.
- Causes of Gout
- Symptoms of Gout
- Home Treatment for Gout
- Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
- # To drink
- # To apply topically
- Method 2: Cherries
- Method 3: Baking Soda
- Method 4: Celery Seeds
- Method 5: Water
- Method 6: Ginger
- Method 7: Lemon
Causes of Gout
- A high level of uric acid in the blood is the primary cause of gout. It occurs when uric acid crystals build up in your joints, causing them to swell.
- Certain foods and drinks can contribute to gout. For example, meat, alcohol and even sugar are highly acidic in nature. When there is excess acid in the blood, it may trigger gout.
- Sometimes, your kidneys are unable to excrete the uric acid out of your body through urine (due to dehydration). As a result, uric acid crystals build up in your joints.
Symptoms of Gout
- A key symptom of gout is experiencing excruciating pain in the affected joint.
- The affected area also can become swollen, inflamed and red.
- As the gout progresses, the joint may lose its flexibility and the discomfort may last for weeks. Further, there is a chance of more severe attacks of gout affecting more joints.
Home Treatment for Gout
- There are many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications that can help relieve the pain from gout. But remember, the medications may only lessen the pain temporarily, while the gout remains.
- Making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and limiting your alcohol consumption, will help you get rid of gout as well as prevent future attacks.
- Drink more water to keep your body hydrated at all times.
- If immediate pain occurs, you can ice the affected area and elevate it so that the blood flow slows and the discomfort is reduced.
Gout may require medical treatment, if not handled in a timely manner. If the attack has just hit, you can try some of these natural home remedies for gout.
Below are seven ways to treat gout naturally and prevent gout attacks that has been bugging you from time to time.
Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps maintain a healthy pH of the blood, by alkalizing the acidic content and breaking up the uric acid crystals responsible for the formation of gout.
Make sure that you use organic apple cider vinegar (containing ‘the mother’), and not the refined one.
The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar help reduce the swelling and pain from gout instantly. It is proven effective both as a solution that you drink or applying it on the affected area.
# To drink
Things you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar – 2 teaspoons (alkalizing agent)
- Honey – 1 teaspoon (optional, for sweetness)
- Water – 1 glass
Step 1. Add apple cider vinegar and honey to water
- Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Optionally, add 1 teaspoon of raw honey to the solution.
Honey is added only to smooth out the otherwise bitter taste of the apple cider vinegar solution (plus, it has other health benefits. too).
Step 2. Stir and drink apple cider vinegar water 3 times a day
- Stir the solution well to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed up. Honey is a little thick in consistency and may settle at the bottom of the glass.
- Drink this solution 3 times a day with your meals to get rid of gout pain instantly.
# To apply topically
Single-Step Treatment: Spray apple cider vinegar on the affected area
- Pour apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle so that it is ready to be used whenever needed. Use a funnel for this purpose so that you do not spill anything.
- Spray the apple cider vinegar on the affected area and gently massage before going to bed, as gout attacks are most frequent during nighttime.
Method 2: Cherries
Cherries have been known as a perfect home remedy for relieving gout attacks for ages. But more recently, researchers have become interested in this popular home remedy and have been conducting studies on it.
In a 2012 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, 633 individuals with gout were provided with cherry and cherry extract. Researchers found that cherry intake over a two-day period was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake. Cherry extract intake showed a similar association.
Cherries, rich in anthocyanins, have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A small study consisting of 18 adults published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 showed that consuming 280 grams of Bing cherries for 28 days significantly reduced the blood levels of substances affecting inflammation in body parts. At the same time, it did not affect the cholesterol or glucose levels in the blood.
Another study conducted in 2014 published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that Montmorency tart cherry concentrate reduced the uric acid level and inflammation in the body.
Be it Montmorency, Bing, Rainier or any other type of cherries (though tart cherries like Montmorency are a little better than sweet cherries for this purpose), consumption of cherries, cherry juice and even cherry extract has shown positive results in preventing gout and relieving gout pain.
As a bonus, cherries are really tasty.
Single-Step Treatment: Drink fresh cherry juice
- Squeeze the juice out of 20 to 30 cherries and drink it once a day.
- You can also consume ½ tablespoon of cherry extract daily as an alternative.
Method 3: Baking Soda
Baking soda is alkaline in nature. This alkalizing property helps reduce the acidic content of the body, along with uric acid crystal formations so that they do not build up and get deposited in the joints.
Although a baking soda and water solution might not taste too good, it is very beneficial in relieving pain in the joints due to gout.
Step 1. Add baking soda to the water
- Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a glass of water.
Step 2. Stir well and drink
- Stir the solution well, to make sure the baking soda is thoroughly mixed into the water. Consume it 3 times a day.
- Baking soda can form a little residue at the bottom of the glass. Give it an occasional stir if it starts to settle at the bottom while drinking it.
Method 4: Celery Seeds
Celery is used by many to prevent gout. Celery seeds are rich in omega-6 fatty acids that enable your digestive system to excrete uric acid more effectively and stimulate your kidneys, causing them to flush the excess uric acid out of the body through urine.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory property of the seeds helps relieve the pain and swelling from gout.
Single-Step Treatment: Drink a celery seed solution
To help prevent gout, you can consume ¼ teaspoon celery seeds either fresh or in powdered form. Since celery seeds tend to be bitter, you can add it to your food while cooking or drink celery seeds tea.
- Boil ½ teaspoon of celery seeds in a cup of water. Strain the seeds out and drink it three times a day.
Note: Do not take celery seeds if you are pregnant or have kidney problems.
Method 5: Water
Water is the solution to most of the body’s problems. Staying hydrated is a good choice, no matter what. However, in this case, the water helps flush out excess uric acid from your body to prevent crystals from developing and depositing in your joints.
Ensure that you drink plenty of water and do not let your body become dehydrated. Experts generally recommend drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day.
Method 6: Ginger
Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce the swelling and pain from gout attacks.
Step 1. Put water and ginger in a pot
- Pour 1 cup of water into a pot and put it on the burner.
- Add the slices from a 2-inch piece of ginger, and cover the pot with a glass lid.
Step 2. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer
- Turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil.
- Once it’s boiling, remove the lid and let the ginger pieces brew a little.
Step 3. Strain and drink it
- Strain out the ginger pieces with a strainer and pour the water into a cup.
- Drink 1 cup of the ginger-infused water per day to treat and prevent gout.
You can also add ginger to your favorite tea if you do not like the pungent taste of ginger alone.
Method 7: Lemon
Lemon contains vitamin C, which is helpful for treating and preventing gout attacks. Although lemon is acidic in nature, it turns alkaline when it enters the stomach and is fully metabolized. This alkalizing agent helps increase the formation of calcium carbonate, which neutralizes acid in the body and helps prevent uric acid crystals from forming.
Step 1. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a glass of water
- Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (by hand or with the help of a squeezer) into a glass of water.
Step 2. Stir and drink it 3 times a day
- Stir the juice to mix the ingredients well.
- Drink this juice 3 times a day.
Not only will the lemon juice help with gout but the water too will play its role in fulfilling your daily fluid intake and keeping your body hydrated.
- Excess alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, which will further lead to excess uric acid in the body. Reduce your consumption, and also drink plenty of water after you consume alcohol so that it is thoroughly diluted in the body.
- Low consumption of sugar has been proven rather effect in controlling gout attacks.
- Limit your consumption of meat like beef, pork and lamb, and avoid eating any meat in large amounts altogether. Meat contains compounds called purines, which increase the uric acid level in the body and contribute to gout attacks.
- A little exercise every now and then is good for your body to maintain good health.
- Too much stress can also aggravate gout pain. Relax a little, and give your body some rest.