Gout occurs when the body accumulates too much uric acid. This acid is a byproduct of when the body breaks down the purines found in food.
Making some changes in the diet can help a person reduce their purine levels and the likelihood of having a gout outbreak.
Home remedies for gout include:
1. Drink a lot of water.
A person with gout can reduce swelling by drinking lots of water.
When a person has gout, they may experience significant swelling and inflammation. One of the ways to reduce swelling is to drink more water.
Increasing fluid intake can reactivate a person's kidneys to release excess fluid, which can reduce inflammation in a person with gout.
Water is better, but other clear liquids, such as broths and infusions are also a good option. People should avoid alcohol and soda, which are high in purines.
However, anyone with congestive heart failure or kidney disease should talk with their doctor before increasing their fluid intake.
2. Apply ice to the affected joints.
Applying an ice pack covered with cloth to the joint can help reduce inflammation related to gout.
Try applying an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel for 10 to 15 minutes at a time to help relieve pain.
If gout affects the feet, a person can also use a packet of frozen vegetables covered with a washcloth, since this can be more easily covered over the feet.
3. Reduce stress.
High stress can worsen the symptoms of a person's gout. While it is not always possible to eliminate all sources of stress, the following tips may help:
- Exercise, such as walking a little, if pain does not limit movement.
- asking for free time at work
- writing a diary or reading a favorite book
- listening to music
Resting enough can also help a person feel less stressed.
4. Elevate the affected joints.
Gout can cause pain and swelling, especially in the feet, hands, knees and ankles.
One way to reduce swelling is to elevate the affected joints. This encourages blood and fluid to move away from the joint and back to the heart.
A person can also use an ice pack in combination with lifting to reduce their gout symptoms.
5. Increase your fish intake.
Including some fish in the diet could help reduce serum levels of uric acid.
Fish contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help improve overall health. Some research has found that some fish are especially useful for reducing uric acid levels.
The authors of a 2016 study found that taking tuna extract helped reduce serum uric acid levels in participants. However, the participants did not have gout, so more research is needed to confirm these results.
However, some nutrition Websites list tuna as a high-purine food, so some people may find that eating tuna makes their symptoms worse.
In addition, the Arthritis Foundation lists a number of other fish that contain high levels of purines, including anchovies, sardines and cod.
6. Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
Although over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (OTC), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), may not be "natural", they are excellent options for treating the pain and discomfort caused by gout.
People should never take more than the recommended dose and should always ask a doctor if over-the-counter medications can interfere with their other medications.
If over-the-counter painkillers do not help, ask a doctor what prescription medications are stronger.
7. drinking coffee
Some people think that drinking coffee may decrease the risk of experiencing gout.
A 2016 review and meta-analysis showed that those who drank more coffee were less likely to have gout. This may be because coffee can lower uric acid levels.
However, just because the study showed a correlation between higher coffee consumption and lower risk of gout, this does not mean that coffee caused the least risk.
8. Eat more cherries
Eating more cherries is a recommended home remedy for gout.
A research study published in the journal. Arthritis and Rheumatology the increase in cherry intake for 2 days reduced the risk of gout attacks by 35 percent in those with previously diagnosed gout.
Cherries contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory compounds. The researchers found that there were symptom-reducing benefits for those who ate whole cherries or cherry juice, as well as for people who were taking cherry extract supplements.
They also discovered a 75 percent reduction in the risk of gout attacks when a person consumed cherries in addition to taking a medication for gout.
Cherries and cherry juice are available in many supermarkets. People can also buy cherry extract supplements at natural food stores and online.
9. Drink lemon water.
The authors of a study conducted in 2015 found that adding the juice of two freshly squeezed lemons to 2 liters of water per day reduced uric acid in people with gout.
The researchers concluded that lemon water helps neutralize uric acid in the body, which helps reduce levels.
10. Limit alcohol consumption
According to the Arthritis Foundation, taking more than two alcoholic beverages or two beers per day increases a person's risk of gout.
Beer is rich in purines, so avoiding it can benefit a person with gout.
11. Avoid meats with high purine content.
Some meats also contain high amounts of purines. Avoiding meats that contain high levels of purine could help reduce a person's gout symptoms.
Meats and fish that are high in purines include:
- meats of organs, like the liver
Talk to a doctor about medications.
Some medications, such as diuretics, can increase the risks of an accumulation of uric acid and an outbreak of gout.
It is essential that people do not stop taking their medications before talking to a doctor about possible alternatives. In some cases, the benefits of the medication outweigh the side effects.
A doctor can also discuss what medications are available to help reduce the symptoms of gout.
Outbreaks of gout can be painful and exhausting. Treatments, including home remedies, can reduce symptoms and help prevent future outbreaks.
Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can also help a person control their condition.
If a person's outbreaks do not start to improve after 48 hours, they should call their doctor to determine if they need additional medical treatments.