Gout pain can be debilitating, so using natural remedies can offer gout suffers much relief. Gout is a condition characterised by a buildup of uric acid. Uric acid is the result of purines breaking down, which are found naturally in the human body as well as in food.
Typically, uric acid becomes released from the body through the kidneys and urine, but too much uric acid can crystallize and surround joints and tissue. This crystallization results in pain and swelling and can make walking or even wearing shoes difficult.
Symptoms of gout include joint pain, discomfort, inflammation, redness and limited range of motion. Eating foods high in uric acid – red meat for example – can increase a person’s risk of developing gout, along with being obese, medical conditions like high blood pressure, family history, surgery and trauma.
- Use ice: Anytime we encounter an injury we are advised to apply ice. Ice constricts blood vessels, which in turn reduces swelling. Furthermore, a reduction of blood flow to the area can help ease the pain as well.
- Rest the joint: Gout pain should be treated similar to an injured body part. The best way to promote healing is to rest, so when you are encountering a gout pain attack the best thing to do is rest. Overuse of the joint will only result in more pain and inflammation.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Because uric acid can be expelled through urination, it’s important to drink plenty of water in order to remove excess uric acid.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol, in particular beer, is high in purines, which get broken down into uric acid. Avoiding alcohol can reduce the amount of uric acid in the body.
- Foods to eat: Although foods high in purines can worsen gout, there are specific foods you should eat as a natural remedy for gout pain. Fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains can help ease pain and inflammation associated with gout.
- Foods to avoid: Avoid foods high in purines like organ and glandular meat, some seafood and alcohol.
- Keep your weight down: Being overweight not only increases your risk of gout, it can also worsen gout pain. Losing weight can reduce uric acid in the body and alleviate stress put onto the joints.
- Take extra care of your joints: Getting rest and icing joints are effective ways of taking care of your joints. Also minimize the time spent on your joints and lose some weight if you are overweight.
- Tame your sheets: Because an affected joint is so sensitive, even the lightweight of bed sheets can cause pain. Keep your sheets at calf or ankle level so your foot can be exposed. Tucking them into the mattress will ensure they don’t move about as freely.
- Get naked: Keep the affected area as exposed as possible by not wearing closed shoes or socks for long periods of time.
- Elevate your foot: When blood flows to a specific area it can cause swelling and pain. By elevating the affected foot you can relieve some of the swelling.
- Get a cane: Because you don’t want to add unnecessary pressure onto the joints, the use of a cane may be ideal.
If pain is unbearable or persistent, you may want to speak to your doctor about specific medications in order to better treat gout. Essentially, easy lifestyle changes should be able to alleviate the majority of pain and swelling caused by gout.