There is a good chance that you or someone you know is suffering from an arthritic health condition known as gout. Gout is a painful type of arthritis caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Uric acid in the bloodstream causes crystals to develop on the cartilage of tendons, joints, and other tissue. These tissues then get inflamed and often cause serious, sudden pain. But what are the triggers of this health issue, and how can it be prevented? Are there home remedies for gout or do you need doctor-prescribed medication? Let’s take a closer look.
Gout is more common in men than women, and most often felt in the feet (specifically, the big toe). But, it can also be felt in other joints like the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. The joints can swell and look bruised. The pain is often excruciating and sudden.
As with any painful condition, people want relief and they want it fast. While traditional gout medicine usually involves a prescription medication like Colcrys, Corticosteroids, or Allopurinol, which work by lowering uric acid levels, thereby decreasing crystal formation, you’ll want to opt-out of this kind of treatment.
These drugs often come with more side effects than they are worth, and since gout it viewed as a life-long condition, these drugs will be in your life forever. Similarly, avoid over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Some Gout Causes
As with any ailment, there are numerous possible causes. Gout is typically the result of uric acid buildup over many years – this is known as hyperuricemia. Typically, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys, but in a case where the uric acid is produced too heavily or it isn’t being passed through the urine, uric acid builds up and creates the crystals in your joints.
To go deeper, JB Bardot from NaturalNews explains one viewpoint on the cause of gout:
“The underlying cause of arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia is an imbalance in the system causing acidosis, which is the basis of most physical disease. In simple terms, this means your pH is out of balance and your body is trying to get back into balance in any way it can. Even in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, imbalance is at the root of its cause. The body’s attempt to regain stasis is what causes arthritis, high uric acid, muscle spasms and a host of other problems. The solution is to help the body’s pH return to normal by consuming alkalizing foods.”
So what are the solutions? Fortunately, there are several natural home remedies that could help prevent gout, reduce flare-ups, and control the pain.
Some Home Remedies for Gout
- Try apple cider vinegar – Helping to make the body more alkaline, apple cider vinegar has become a well-known proven solution for countless ailments, including gout. Try mixing 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. You can either drink it in one sitting or sip on it over time – try both methods and see which is more effective. This solution can reduce pain by 90% within a day or two. Note: Be sure to use organic apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’.
- Baking Soda – Among other home remedies for gout is the use of baking soda. Mixing baking soda in water can effectively relieve pain almost instantly, though it may take 1-2 days. Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 8 oz. of water and drink it in one sitting. You may need to repeat this a few times a day, taking as much as 3 teaspoons total. Reduce the dose as the pain goes away. Note: The maximum recommended dose is 4 teaspoons throughout the day. Lastly, use caution if you suffer from hypertension, as baking soda may raise blood pressure when taken in larger amounts.
- Consume cherries – Some studies have shown that cherries can also reduce uric acid. In one study involving more than 600 people with gout, it was found that a ½-cup serving of cherries a day (10 or 12 cherries), or cherry extract, resulted in a 35% reduced risk of a subsequent gout attack. Further, those consuming even more cherries, up to three servings in two days, were at a 50% reduced risk. It may be best, though to supplement or consume cherry juice concentrate, which can contain about 55 to 60 tart cherries without all the sugar.
- Eliminate sugar and soda – Whether it’s caffeinated or not, drinking two sodas each day can increase your risk of gout by a whopping 85%! Why? Sugar! Reduce sugar intake dramatically and risk of experiencing gout will dramatically drop.
- Hydrate – Drink plenty of water. This will help flush out the excess uric acid.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – Alcohol dehydrates the body and could raise uric acid levels in the blood.
- Have some bromelain – Try some bromelain, a compound that can be found in pineapples or in a supplement form. The enzymes within are frequently recommended for people with gout and have even been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
- Beet juice – Beet juice can help prevent acidosis and stimulates the liver to cleanse bile ducts.
- Up your vitamin C intake – Evidence exists showing that increased vitamin C can reduce uric acid. Get it from food or from rose hips if you choose a supplement.
- Reduce caffeine intake.
- Avoid organ meats, sardines, and anchovies – These are all rich in uric acid, and you don’t need any more of that.
- Exercise – In the case of gout, exercise naturally helps reduce uric acid levels by normalizing insulin. In general, exercise is a ‘prevent-all’ when it comes to any health issues.
Though gout is said to partly genetic and may not be completely preventable, you can absolutely reduce the occurrence and severity of flare-ups with these natural treatments. Don’t forget to share these home remedies for gout with others!