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Treating Gout with Home Remedies
Gout is synonymous with pain. It is a complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Men are more likely to get gout, but women become prone to gout after menopause.
It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. Either you have acute gout (only at one joint) or chronic gout (multiple joints) and you need to relieve yourself of that painful lump. Medicines are known only to suppress symptoms, the pain and the swelling, and they keep coming back. Home remedies and certain changes in diet and lifestyle have proved to be the best treatment. EHC compiles a list of effective home remedies for the treatment of gout.
Drink Plenty of Water
The excessive uric acid in your blood that can’t be excreted out of your system by your kidneys not only forms kidney stones but also leads to gout by crystallizing itself at the joints. The pain and swelling at your big toe or at heels, ankles, knees and elbows are caused by crystallization of this excess uric acid only. To expel it out you have to drink a lots of water. Make it a habit of drinking a glass of water every 30-40 minutes. You can even have other healthy beverages like coconut water, lime juice and fruit juices.
The ‘malic acid’ in apple helps in neutralizing the excessive uric acid in your body. It is better if you can have this apple after your meal. This will help neutralize the uric acid faster to give you relief from pain and inflammation.
The high amount of potassium and phosphorus in bananas are capable of altering uric acid crystals into liquid that can be easily flushed out of your system. Bananas also have high content of vitamin C that can give you relief from pain and swelling. Therefore, you should have at least one to two bananas a day.
Grapes are alkaline foods and again help in neutralizing uric acid. They also avoid building up of acid and help in eliminating it from body. However, if you are diabetic, you should consult with your doctor before adding grapes and even bananas in your diet.
Amla or Indian gooseberry is the best source of vitamin C. If you can, have an amla every morning. The best thing is that when you convert amla into jam, jelly or cook it, it doesn’t lose its vitamin C. So, you can have it in any form.
Cucumber is very beneficial in gout probably due to the high water content in it. You may like to have this delicious juice made up of carrot, cucumber and beetroot. A juice wholly made of cucumber would also do.
Cherries are the second best home remedy for gout, after water. Because cherries have in the ‘anthocyanins’ known to heal pain, inflammation and tenderness of joints. There are certain ways in which you can have lots of cherries to treat your gout. Have cherries (sweet or sour- both can work) before breakfast. Make juice with cherries and a few cloves of garlic to get relief from inflammation and joint tenderness. Have anything cherry- cherry pie, cherry compote, cherry juice, cherry jam, cherry tea. Just consult your doctor if you are diabetic or have any other grave medical condition before having them in abundance.
Avoid Purine Loaded Foods
The uric acid in your blood is due to the breakdown of chemicals called purines. Purines come from having too much of organ meats, certain fish, dried peas, lentils and legumes. So avoid these foods. At least cut down on them in a major way and totally avoid them when you are under a gout attack. The purine foods that you should try and avoid include organ meats including liver, kidney, brains; red meat; sweetbreads; sardines; anchovies; dried peas; lentils; and legumes.
To get relief from gout pain, it is essential to alkalize the body and neutralize the excess uric acid in blood stream. This can be done easily with fresh lemon juice and baking soda. Along with lemon juice, also eat other fruits rich in vitamin C to strengthen the body tissues.
Warm the castor oil. With the help of a cotton ball, apply the warm oil on your gout-affected joint.
Activated charcoal can absorb uric acid so you may take a charcoal bath two or three times a week. Mix well half cup of charcoal powder in some water to make a paste. Place this paste in a tub and add more water to it. Now soak your gout-affected joint in this water for 30 minutes. If you can’t soak your joint (like elbow), just apply the charcoal paste there and leave for half an hour. Wash with lukewarm water.
It is not only good for gout but also for other types of arthritis. Add some Epsom salt (about two cups if having bath in bath tub and a couple of teaspoons if soaking only the affected joint) in warm water and soak your body or the gout-affected joint in it. Do it once a week.
Devil’s Claw is an anti-inflammatory herb that can help you get extreme relief from pain. However, if you also suffer from diabetes or are taking some blood thinning medicine, you should not have this herb. Those eligible for using devil’s claw can make tea with it.
Take half teaspoon of powdered devil’s claw root. Boil a cup of water. Add powdered herb to the water. Let it steep for ten minutes. Have the tea. Have this herbal tea at least once a day.
Care for your Body
When there are gout flare-ups, you need to take extra care. While exercising is good for overall health and also for preventing gout flare-ups, you need to have restrictions on joint movement once there is such a flare up.
Avoid putting weight on your joints affected with gout. If it is your big toe, stay off your feet as long as you can and till the time your gout attack subsides.
As far as possible, keep your affected joint elevated. This simple rule of gravity helps in reducing inflammation by slowing down the flow of blood to your painful joint.
During gout flare-ups, keep your joint immobile for most of the times. Lying still helps. You may also like to build a splint for supporting and immobilizing your joint.
If gout is in big toe, you better wear comfortable shoes offering a lots of room for the toes otherwise you can worsen your pain.