Imagine getting up one fine morning and finding the skin over your feet or ankle red, shiny and severely painful! Well, you’re afflicted with one of the most common forms of arthritis called gout. This may give swelling or pain to any of your joints within 12 to 24 hours. The bad news is gout affects mostly men; women are prone only after menopause. According to the Wellington Regional Rheumatology Unit , New Zealand almost 10% adult males are afflicted with it.
Gout usually affects one or two joints at a time and your feet and ankles are most vulnerable to it, with the ball of the big toe being the most common site. The gout attack usually subsides without treatment in a week or so and there may be intervals of many months or even years between attacks.
However, with the passage of time, these attacks tend to become more frequent and severer and may eventually involve many joints, sometimes all at the same time! At this stage, there’s a great risk of chronic or continuous joint disease with progressive joint damage, disability and crippling. The cause of gout is the increased levels of uric acid, a chemical which is a natural part of the normal breaking down and building up of food and body tissues.
These raised levels of uric acid may be due to:
c. High alcohol intake.
d. High purine content in foods, like red meat, liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads, tongue, shellfish, fish roe, scallops, peas, lentils and beans.
e. Some drugs for high blood pressure.
f. In some cases, longstanding kidney disease.
Natural remedies for gout
Of course, before you go looking for gout cures, there are certain things you can do to prevent the levels of uric acid in your blood. You can adopt a low purine diet for gout, reduce alcohol intake, reduce weight, if overweight, and, if you’re taking medication for high blood pressure, get the prescription changed.
However, there are some safe, effective and inexpensive gout remedies that’ll help you get rid of this condition without any side effects. Let’s see what they are:
a. Gout diet:
The American Medical Association recommends gout food that is high in complex carbohydrates, like fiber-rich whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low in protein, like soy, lean meats and poultry.
b. Gout cherry:
According to a research conducted at the Agricultural Research Service’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center, CA, eating fresh, plump, juicy cherries alleviates gout pain and other forms of arthritic inflammation.
c. Ginger and turmeric:
Certain anti-inflammatory supplements, like ginger and turmeric help to ease pain and swelling.
d. Phellodendron bark:
This anti-inflammatory, used topically for sores and damp heat conditions of the skin, is quite effective for gout too.
Derived from pineapple, this is an effective natural gout treatment and is usually taken between meals.
f. Fish oil supplements:
Fish oil and foods containing Omega-3, like walnuts, whole soy products, cold-water fish and fortified eggs, are beneficial for reducing gout pain and swelling.
g. Vegetable juices:
Raw vegetable juices are helpful in gout treatment. Carrot juice, in combination with the juices of beet and cucumber, is especially effective. The juice of French or string beans has also proved helpful in treating gout.
h. Epsom salt bath:
Epsom salts baths taken twice daily help relieve gout pain.
i. Cold packs:
Cold packs, applied to the affected joints at night, have proved beneficial.
So, if you’re suffering from the gout symptoms, have a shot at natural gout treatments. It may make you give up the strong over-the-counter prescription drugs. However, always take your physician into confidence in whatever gout treatment you opt for.