Because there are quite a few remedies out there that have been claimed to work by many gout sufferers, we decided that the best way to gather and consolidate all of this information is to have a poll created to record the results more accurately. Please vote responsibly and only do so if you have seen effective results in your use of these remedies! We’ve also listed down a couple of remedies further down below that are pretty much proven to work, or at least help significantly, in the prevention of gout.
If you’re already familiar with what gout is and you wish to skip directly to the gout remedies section, please click here. However, we recommend wholeheartedly that you read the entire article to fully understand the true cause of gout before you attempt to remedy your situation.
What Is Gout And How Do I Know If I Have It?
Gout is a form of arthritis (inflammation of the joints) that causes the affected area to turn red and swell up. You’ll feel pain too and its severity will depend on which area of your body is being affected. First time gout sufferers will usually experience it during the middle of the night whereby they’d wake up in severe pain and the joint will be swollen with the skin around it turning red or even purple.
In about 75% of the cases, the big toe will be affected and the slightest touch or brush against it can be excruciatingly painful. Any joints in your body can potentially be affected however. These include your fingers, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles.
Professional treatment should be sought in all cases but there are certain home remedies for gout that even doctors might not know about. These gout remedies should be used as supplementary or preventative measures for future attacks.
What Causes Gout?
Gout is a result of excessive uric acid in the blood. When your body breaks down the waste, part of it becomes uric acid. This will usually be filtered through the kidney and removed from the body through your urine. However, if a person has too much uric acid in his or her body, the kidneys will not be able to cope with it.
So, instead of being cleared out of your body, the uric acid accumulates within the joints and after a while it crystallizes into needle like substances, which will push against your joints causing pain and inflammation. In certain cases, the crystals can also lump up together and turn into a hard massive solid structure. Over time, the joint will feel stiff too and irreversible damage may follow. Here’s a picture that shows the cycle of a gout attack:
Contributing Factors To Gout:
- Gender – Unfortunately, if you’re a male, you’re 3-4 times more likely to get gout compared to your female counterparts. Why? Because females can excrete uric acid much more effectively compared to males.
- Age – The older you are, the less efficient your kidney becomes and the risk increases. Middle-aged people (30-50) are very vulnerable to gout. Children seldom get it.
- Genetics – Approximately 1 in 5 of people who have a family history of gout will also be affected.
- Diet – The more you eat, the higher the risk of getting gout. This is a huge factor here because a ton of what we eat will be turned into waste and subsequently uric acid. Certain food items like red meat, sardines, beans, soy, liver products and other acidic substances will make things worse. Alcohol is a huge contributing factor that should be avoided whenever possible.
- Medication – Certain types of medication or supplements can lead to gout. This includes medication that consists of salicylates or diuretics.
How Long Does A Gout Attack Usually Last For?
Once the attack starts, the symptoms may reach their peak in as short as 2 days. It can last for 3-10 days. After the attack, the symptoms will subside and the joint will feel completely normal again. Most of the time however, a gout victim will suffer recurrent attacks in the future.
There are a few basic home remedies for gout that will help significantly despite how simple they might seem. These natural remedies for gout will directly counteract the major causes of gout so that the risks of it recurring is much lower.
Home Remedy #1 Cherries
Cherries are an extremely popular remedy against gout and many gout victims have hailed their effectiveness. Studies have also been performed on this and results show that a daily intake of cherries (about 10 each day) will help reduce the chances of an acute gout attack by about 30%. What’s the scientific explanation for this?
From A Scientific Viewpoint
Firstly, cherries have been found to increase the excretion of urate via our urine and they also directly reduce the production of uric acid in the body (this is likely attributable to the abundant levels of Vitamin C in this fruit). As one of the major causes of gout is an excessive level of uric acid in our bloodstream, this effectively cuts down the chances that you’ll suffer from another gout attack.
In addition to that, cherries share a similar property as Allopurinol (a drug often prescribed for gout victims) in that they consist of anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory attributes, thus further lowering the risk of gout attack. Even in the event that a gout attack does occur, the severity of the pain and symptoms can be lessened significantly thanks to the reduced inflammation.
Which Type Of Cherries Should You Take: Red Or Black?
This is a question which is often asked and the right answer is that both are completely fine, but sour cherries (the color doesn’t really matter) are popularly claimed to be slightly more effective and many health practitioners have recommended them over the sweeter variants. If you find that these are difficult to consume in any way, you could consume them in juice form instead.
Home Remedy #2 Drink Enough Water (Based On The Urine Test)
As generic as it may seem to you, if you’re still not practicing this, you really should. Drinking an adequate amount of water will make it easier for your body to flush out urate (salt derived from uric acid) from its system. This immediately reduces the chances that a gout attack will arise again in the future.
Although it’s often said that drinking 8 glasses of water daily is best, that’s actually far from being ideal because our body requires different amounts of water depending on the activities that we’re involved in on a daily basis. Plus, sipping water consistently over time is much more beneficial than gulping down huge glasses in one go. To be able to determine whether you’re drinking sufficient amounts of water, use the urine test. The ideal urine color should be a little yellowish. If your urine’s a dark concentrated yellow, it means that you’re not drinking enough water. If the shade’s any darker than that (with a tint of orange), it means you’re severely deprived of water. If your urine’s completely colorless, it means that you’re drinking too much.
Home Remedy #3 – Reduce Intake Of Alcohol
If possible, remove it completely from your diet. This is known to work wonders for many gout sufferers because alcohol has a high purine content (forms uric acid once its broken down). In a typical situation, the uric acid will be processed and removed via urine but if there’s excessive amounts of this substance, the kidneys will be overworked and be unable to do this properly. The remaining uric acid will form out between your joints and crystallize over time into solidified deposits, thus causing gout.
According to this article published by the Harvard Medical School (http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0804a.shtml), alcohol drinkers have twice the risk of developing gout compared to non-drinkers. Beer is found to be the worst form of alcohol in these cases followed by liquor and then wine. There are studies which show that wine has little no effect on gout but that’s really a controversial subject. It’s better to play it safe and avoid it as much as you can.
Home Remedy #4 – Revamp Your Diet
This is by far the most important aspect of all gout home remedies: your diet. Almost all food contain purine. It’s unavoidable to consume some of them but a small portion of food consist of a high concentration of such substances. These include foods that are high in protein. Here are a few common examples.
1. Food with highest purine content (please avoid these at all costs): Sardines, sweet bread, yeast, organs (liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, heart).
2. Avoid if possible, take only when necessary: Seafood (mussels, oysters, shrimps), fish (anchovies, herrings, mackerels, salmon, trout), soya beans, peanuts, beef. Since most food contain pieces of chicken, you can have them but eat them without the skin.
Also, keep in mind that as a general rule, purines in vegetables are much safer compared to meat.
For a full table of food that’s high in purine content, you can refer to http://www.acumedico.com/purine.htm.
Home Remedy #5 – Avoid Pressuring The Joint Area
Gout can be really painful when an attack occurs so avoid using the affected region during such times. If it’s your feet joints that are affected, try to avoid walking at all. Use crutches to move about.
Should You Apply Ice To It?
The application of ice on the swelling is a commonly misused gout remedy. Do NOT try to reduce the swelling by applying any cold or even heating effects on it. Numbing the area with ice might seem tempting at first but the cold will cause the uric crystals to form up even faster and your condition will worsen after a brief period of relief. As for heating effects, your blood around the area will circulate more quickly and when that happens, more white blood cells will accumulate at the joints, thus inflaming it further. Just keep it at room temperature and don’t meddle with it. Keep the affected area in an elevated position to reduce the flow of blood into it.
What About Drugs?
If necessary or under extreme circumstances, take some anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling and consequently, the pain. This is commonly referred to as NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Another highly common method would be to take some corticosteroids either orally or via injection directly into the inflamed area. This will reduce the inflammation within minutes. Please note that all such medication should only be taken if your doctor agrees with it.
In the long run however, no amount of medication would help simply because these only serve to relieve the pain and will not act to remove the direct source of your gout (the uric acid level).
To prevent gout from happening to you again in the future, you’ll need to cure it as its source i.e in a natural manner from within your body itself by practicing these gout remedies diligently and in a consistent manner.
p.s. Due to spam, we’ve closed the comments section for the time being but if you have any useful information that you’d like to contribute in greater detail, please use the contact form to send us an email and we’ll update our site accordingly.
p.p.s. This image link below leads to an e-book that’s really popular among gout sufferers and it has also been certified by a couple of doctors, so you might want to check it out as well.