What is gout?
Gout is a painful, arthritic condition of the joints. It usually strikes the big toes, but it can also affect the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows.
What are the symptoms of gout?
The pain associated with gout is often sudden and intense. Joints tend to swell, and can be warm to the touch. The skin around the joint may also take on a deep red or purple hue. People who have had gout for extended periods of time may develop nodules beneath the skin near joints; these are accumulations of uric acid crystals. Attacks can recur in the same joint over weeks, months or years, and repeated bouts of gout can damage the joint. Kidney damage can also occur.
Causes of Gout
· The cause for Gout is considered to be the increase of uric acid levels that are seen in the body.
· Generally the levels of uric acid that is present in the body is regulated when excess uric acid is passed out through urine or stools and when this does not happen uric acid levels in the body increases.
· There are many causes that have been attributed to increase in uric acid levels in the body like consuming alcohol or sweetened carbonated drinks, some painkillers and chemotherapy medicines or blood disorders.
· Some medical conditions like G6PD Deficiency, bone marrow disorders, diabetes mellitus, lipid disorders, kidney problems, vascular diseases, high blood pressure, enzyme defects and obesity are also known to cause increase in levels of uric acid thereby helping the formation of Gout.
Home remedies for Gout
· Mix 8oz of water and ½ teaspoon of baking soda and consume it in one go. This can be repeated twice a day and can help in reducing uric acid levels.
· It is very important to maintain a good diet when suffering from a Gout attack and to avoid foods that have the tendency to increase uric acid levels.
The anti-inflammatory properties present in ginger root can be very helpful in relieving pain and inflammation. There are many ways to use ginger root in the treatment of gout.
· Mix equal amounts of fenugreek powder, turmeric powder and dried ginger root powder. Have one teaspoon of this mixture along with warm water. Take it twice daily.
· You can simply add ginger root in cooking recipes, or eat a small, raw piece of ginger root daily.
· You can also add one-half teaspoon of ginger root to one cup of boiling water and mix it well. Drink this solution at least once daily.
· Another option is to make a paste of ginger root with a little water and apply this paste on the affected area. Leave it on for about half an hour. Do this once daily.
To get relief from gout pain, it is essential to alkalize the body and neutralize the excess uric acid in blood stream. This can be done easily with fresh lemon juice and baking soda. Along with lemon juice, also eat other fruits rich in vitamin C to strengthen the body tissues. · Mix the juice of one lemon with one-half teaspoon of baking soda. Let it sit for a few seconds, and then mix it in a glass of water. Drink it immediately. · Another option is to add the juice of half a lemon to a glass of water and drink it three times a day.
Cherries, whether sweet or sour, can also be very helpful in treating gout due to their antioxidant properties. Cherries also contain anthocyanins, which can reduce inflammation as well as minimize gout flare-ups.
· For gout patients, eating 15 to 20 cherries a day is highly recommended. For better results, start your day with some cherries. It is best to eat fresh cherries, but if they are not available at the market, you can opt for canned cherries.
· Another option is to drink a glass of cherry juice enriched with a few cloves of minced garlic daily.
Bananas are also very effective in treating gout. The high potassium content in bananas will help convert uric acid crystals into liquid form that will be flushed out of the body later through urination. Bananas also contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, which can be very effective in managing swelling and pain.
· Simply eat one or two bananas daily, and soon you will notice improvement in your condition.
· Another option is to add one ripe banana to one-half cup of yogurt. This will also help to keep diarrhea away.
It is very common to hear people say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s a good, healthy habit to eat at least one apple daily, especially when you have gout. Experts suggest eating an apple after each meal. The malic acid present in apples will help neutralize uric acid in the body and thereby relieve gout pain and inflammation. If you do not like to eat apples, you can try apple juice. Along with an apple, it is also a good idea to eat raw carrots daily.
Placing the affected area in cold water will reduce swelling as well as pain. When you have gout, do not use ice directly on the skin; it can damage the skin and make your condition worse.
· Immerse the inflamed, swollen joint in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the process several times a day.
· You can use an ice pack for about 15 minutes, but wrap it in a towel before placing it on the affected area. Do this twice a day. Avoid excess use of ice packs because it can lead to crystallization of uric acid.
So, if you are suffering from gout, simply try these natural remedies to get relief from the pain and inflammation. Bear in mind, there is no quick cure. Time and determination are required to treat gout.