Gout is the crystallization of uric acid in the joints, which is very painful, but gout remedies can help. Excess uric acid is caused by a number of things, including rich, spicy foods, alcohol, injury to a joint, high blood pressure, anemia, obesity, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), lymphoma, severe dehydration and stress, among other things.
Most often, gout affects the big toe, but can affect the finger joints, elbows, wrists, knees and other areas of the body. Gout is most common in middle-aged men, especially those that are overweight or drink too much alcohol. It can, however, occur in completely healthy individuals.
Symptoms of Gout
Common symptoms include:
- Severe pain in the big toe
- Affected joint becomes tender or swollen
- Skin turns reddish on affected joint
- Feeling of pressure or tightness in the affected area
- Chills or fever (in some cases)
A doctor’s visit is recommended to find out the underlying cause of gout, but these gout remedies will help to relieve the pain and/or prevent recurring episodes of gout.
- Keep weight off the affected joint – If gout is in your toe, stay off your feet as much as possible. Pressure increases the pain and causes joint damage.
- Keep the joint elevated – Keeping the affected joint elevated helps to reduce the pain and decrease inflammation.
- Immobilize the joint – Make a splint for the joint if possible. The less you move the joint, the less pain you will experience.
- Take ibuprofen – Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and will reduce some of the swelling. Aspirin, however, can sometimes make the problem worse.
- Wear comfortable fitting shoes – If your toe is affected, wear comfortable shoes with plenty of room in the toe area.
- Stay hydrated – Drink eight glasses of fluid per day, preferably water or juice. Keeping your fluid intake up reduces the amount of crystallization.
- Drink vegetable juices – Carrot, beet and cucumber juice are all effective at treating gout.
- Avoid alcohol – Alcohol is often the cause of gout.
- Avoid diuretics – Water pills can keep you from properly excreting uric acid and allows it to build up in your system and cause, or worsen, gout.
- Lose weight – If you are overweight, lose those extra pounds.
- Drink black cherry juice – It has been found to decrease the occurrence of gout.
- Eat an apple a day – Apples contain malic acid, which is believed to neutralize uric acid.
- Eat a bunch of bananas – Eating only bananas for 3 or 4 days can help gout. Consume 8 or 9 bananas daily.
- Drink lime juice – Citric acid found in limes is a solvent of uric acid. Squeeze the juice of a lime into a glass of water and drink.
- Try an Epsom salt bath – Soak your foot or the affected area in hot water mixed with Epsom salts.
Remember to visit your physician to find out the underlying cause of gout, as it could be something serious such as high blood pressure, anemia or hypothyroidism. Use these gout remedies to help ease the pain.
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