A gout is a form of arthritis caused by an imbalance of uric acid in the body. It is commonly known as gouty arthritis. The condition is characterized by tender and sore joints, often in combination with severe pain. When the body produces too much uric acid, it is crystallized and deposited around the joints in specific areas of the body. It causes pain and discomfort. The uric acid deposits swell and are tender to touch.
Gout is found in the big toe of your feet, ankles, knees and other joints. The pain and stiffness recur at random intervals and in differing levels of severity. Over time, gout causes permanent damage to muscles, tendons, and joints if left untreated.
Treating Gout with medicines
The very first step to deal with gout attack is to get a clinical diagnosis by a medical practitioner. The expert will take a sample from the swollen joint to test for the presence of urate crystals. A blood test is also recommended to check for uric acid levels in the body.
The treatment course for gout includes two kinds of medicines –
- Anti-inflammatory ones like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Corticosteroids and medications that lower the levels of uric acid in the body.
The anti-inflammatory medications help to relieve the sudden pain and swelling caused by a gout attack. They are given right after the pain starts. The other medicines, however, are usually started after the gout attack is over.
Along with these medical treatment courses, you can also use natural home remedies to alleviate the symptoms of gout. Read on to find out how to treat gout naturally.
- Eat right
It is always sensible to prevent a gout attack before it troubles you. Purines are a chemical compound found in meat and dairy products. It can increase uric acid level in the body, and lead to gout. To keep the uric levels in your body in check, decrease the intake of seafood and meats like liver, fatty foods, sweetened drinks, and beer. Eat foods like vegetables, fruits, butter, cheese, eggs, chocolate, and cocoa. For a beverage, drink coffee and tea that are low in uric acid content. The other healthier drink choice is low-fat milk which will reduce the risk of getting a gout attack in future. This is how you treat gout.
- Watch your diet
Stay away from low carbohydrate diets. Less carbohydrate means that the fats will not be converted into energy, which leads to a condition called ketosis in the body. Ketosis causes the production of uric acid in the bloodstream. It can be especially problematic if you already have had an episode of a gout attack.
- Cold compress
If you get a gout attack, it will last for about a week to ten days. The first two days are the most painful. A cold compress can be used to provide instant relief from the pain and soreness in the painful joints. Put an ice pack on gout affected area to reduce extreme inflammation for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day. This is how you treat gout.
- Increase your water intake
When you are suffering from gout, it is important to maintain a good fluid intake along with keeping the diet in mind. Drink at least 2-4 liters of water in a day. Drinking enough water will keep your kidneys functioning properly. It will make sure that the kidneys filter excess uric acid from the body effectively.
Avoid fluids like fructose, sweetened drinks, and alcohol to avoid further gout attacks. This is how you treat gout.
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps in treating acute gout pain. Wash the affected area with apple cider vinegar to relieve the inflammation. Alternatively, you can mix half a cup of it in about a liter of warm water and soak your feet in it. The solution will reduce swelling as well as inflammation. Some people also believe that drinking raw apple cider vinegar mixed with water can help in relieving the symptoms of painful gout joint. Mix two tablespoons of raw ACV with 8 ounces of water and drink it several times in a day. This is how you treat gout.
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce the inflamed joints and ease out the pain. To use it as a topical remedy, make a thick paste of ginger roots with some drops of water in a grinder jar. Apply this paste to gout affected area to ease the pain. You can repeat this several times a day. As a preventive measure, make ginger a regular part of your diet. It also has other medicinal properties which will help with the overall functioning of the body. This is how you treat gout. Alternatively, you can also have ginger turmeric tea to soothe the gout pain. Take two cups of water and add one and a half inch piece of shredded ginger in it. Add a little less than half a teaspoon of turmeric into the water. Now let the water boil and reduce it to about half its volume. The tea will be naturally helpful for gout pain.
You can try the remedies mentioned above to treat gout at home. But, if the pain persists, visit a doctor for a proper analysis and rule out any major problem.