“Gout is a disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet, deposition of chalk-stones, and episodes of acute pain.”
Gout is also called as Gouty arthritis. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that happens in people who have high levels of uric acid. This acid forms needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling.
There are different stages of gout:
Asymptomatic hyperuricemia – This is the stage before a person feels the first gout attack
Acute gout or gout attack – When the uric acid levels are very high and the crystals are formed, a person starts to feel the gout attack. It usually starts in the night and intensifies in the next 8 to 12 hours. The symptoms might reduce or go away within a week or 10 days. 84% of people might get another attack in the next 3 years.
Interval gout –This is the interval between one gout attack and the other. Usually, with medication, the second attack can be avoided. But the inflammation might have not gone away completely.
Chronic gout – When the uric acid 3 levels remain high for many years, there are high chances of getting another attack frequently. In this stage, joint damages might happen and mobility issues can happen.
Let’s see who are at risk.
- Genes – Gout can be passed on genetically to family and their generations to come
- Medication – Some medication tends to increase the uric acid levels and that leads to gout.
- Gender and age – Men are prone to get affected by gout than women. Men who are around 60 years and above are easily affected. Women have fewer chances of gout because the estrogen protects them from gout.
- Food – Red meat and shellfish can increase the chances
- Obesity – People who are obese are at higher risk than people who are of normal weight. Obese people tend to develop gout at a younger age.
- Alcohol – People who consume more alcohol are prone to get affected by gout
Natural ways to treat gout
Ginger is one of the best known anti-inflammatory remedies to treat gout. It reduces inflammation and also prevents inflammation. Ginger can be favorite for many and may not be favorite for some. But when it comes to gout, ginger can definitely reduce the suffering.
How to use ginger
- You can chew on freshly cut ginger twice a day.
- You can drink ginger tea.
- You can include ginger in your daily cooking.
- You can grind ginger and apply topically to the affected area.
Regular usage of ginger can reduce the pain and treat the inflammation effectively.
Apple cider vinegar
This vinegar is used widely to treat gout and arthritis. Apple cider vinegar can reduce the pain and also increases the response to inflammation when combined with honey.
- You can add 2 or 3 spoons of apple cider vinegar along with warm water. You can drink this twice a day.
- You can add honey to the drink for taste.
Cherries are effective in treating gout because of the anti-oxidants present in them. Anthocyanins are a component present in them that reduces inflammation and also prevents an increase in the inflammation.
- You can consume a lot of cherries (minimum 20) per day.
- You can also grind the cherries and drink it like juice.
Epsom salt soak
There is nothing as relaxing as soaking your feet in warm water. When you add Epsom salt to warm water, it can soothe your muscles and relieve pain. It is also used to treat arthritis.
- Add generous amount of Epsom salt to warm water and soak the affected area in the water for as long as you want to
The high magnesium content in Epsom salt helps to reduce blood pressure and improves heart health.
Pineapple has been very helpful in treating gout pain. The bromelain enzyme present in pineapple is effective in reducing inflammation. They also help to digest high protein food substances, thus reducing the accumulation of uric acid in the body. The less the uric acid, the fewer chances of getting affected by gout.
- You can consume the fruit every day
- You can make a juice out of it
- You can grind it to form a paste and add turmeric along with it. Eat it along with your regular diet.
Hot and cold compress
You can use a hot or cold compress on the affected area. This type of compress will reduce the pain and also the inflammation. It will relax the strained muscles and tissues.
- For cold compress – You can pack few ice cubes in a polythene bag and place it in on the affected area.
- For a hot compress – You can use a towel immersed in hot water and place it on the affected area. You can also use hot water bags.
Hot or cold compress can be done any number of time.
Please not, do not place ice cubes or hot water directly on the skin.
As a word of caution, it is always good to consult a doctor before you start treating gout all by yourself. You need to understand the stage and severity. If any of the home remedies are not effective in you or if the pain increases, stop the treatment and consult a doctor immediately.
Keith, S., 2000. Turmeric: An Overview of Potential Health Benefits. Nutrition Today, 45(5), pp. 216-225.
Sautin, Y. Y. & Johnson, R. J., 2008. Uric Acid: The Oxidant-Antioxidant Paradox. Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids, 27(6-7), pp. 608-619.
Taussig, S. J. & S. B., 1988. Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application. An update. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 22(2), pp. 191-203.
Wallace, T. C. & Giusti, M. M., 2015. Anthocyanins. Advances in Nutrition An INTERNATIONAL REVIEW JOURNAL, 6(5), pp. 620-622.
Zhang, Y. et al., 2012. Cherry consumption and decreased risk of recurrent gout attacks. Arthritis and Rheumatology, 28 September, pp. 4004-4011.