A type of arthritis, gout triggers a sudden episode of pain, inflammation, and tenderness in the joints. Typically, it affects the big toe; however, it can also develop in the joints of one’s wrists, hands, knees, ankles, and feet. It can take around five to ten days for the symptoms to alleviate. Gout attacks occur when the body is unable to excrete excess uric acid, a substance that is produced while breaking down purines. Purines are naturally found in the body, but they are also found in certain foods, especially organ meat.
Acute gout attacks need immediate medical attention as joint pain can be unbearable. Most doctors will usually prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the discomfort. However, if the symptoms are severe or recurring, corticosteroids might be used. These are only to be taken under a doctor’s supervision. Long term consumption of such medications can lead to some serious side effects. Therefore, while undergoing treatment, one can also use the following home remedies to help control the symptoms.
A popular natural solution for easing the painful gout symptoms, cherries can lower the uric acid levels. One can directly consume cherries or have it in the form of juice. Typically, one should approximately have half a cup of cherries a day to gain significant results. Although this fruit has anti-inflammatory effects, there is no empirical evidence pertaining to how it helps in cutting down the uric acid levels in the blood.
- Plenty of water
The best way to eliminate excess uric acid from the blood is by drinking plenty of water. To ensure that the kidneys can effectively flush it, one should aim to have at least 90 to 130 ounces of water a day. Some studies also recommend patients to have a cup of coffee as it can help clear the excess uric acid from the blood.
Certain probiotic strains might make it easier to digest purines, which also effectively helps expel uric acid from the blood. Thus, including probiotics in one’s daily diet can lower the elevated uric acid levels, preventing gout attacks in the future. However, there is still some debate among researchers about how effective probiotics are for gout.
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can lower the pain and swelling in the joints. It can be applied topically to mitigate the tenderness or can be consumed in the form of tea to decrease the uric acids levels in the blood.
The potassium-rich content in bananas processes and eliminates uric acid from the blood. Moreover, they are a good source of vitamin C that can lower the pain and tenderness. However, patients are only advised to have one or two bananas a day. This is primarily because they comprise high amounts of sugar that could further aggravate certain symptoms of gout.
- Epsom salt soak
Soaking the affected part in a mixture of Epsom salt and warm water can help reduce swelling and relax the muscles. Similarly, an Epsom salt soak also helps stabilize the blood pressure levels as it is abundant in magnesium.