Natural Home Remedies for Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the defective metabolism of uric acid and occurs often in the small bones of the feet.  

A pair of feet on wooden planks; one swollen

The typical victim is an overweight, middle-aged male with a genetic predisposition, but anyone can get it if pH is out of balance.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain
  • Red, swollen skin (hands, knees, feet, joints)
  • Tenderness

RISK FACTORS

  • Diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Elevated creatinine levels
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Kidney disease
  • Medications like diuretics and others
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Renal disease
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Surgery

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Gout medications include NSAID’s, colchicine, corticosteroids, Probenecid, Allopurinol, and Pegioticase. In addition to alleviating symptoms of pain and inflammation, the goal is to maintain a healthy level of uric acid. Untreated or unchecked episodes may become more widespread during flare-ups or cause permanent damage.

SELF TREATMENT

Prevention is the best medicine so if you have had gout in the past, change your lifestyle for the better to avoid getting it again. If you have it now, maybe some of the treatments below will give you some relief.

FIRST AID

  • Start out with Rest, Ice, and Elevation.  Rest the affected part and if possible, elevate it.  Apply a crushed ice pack for several minutes.  Use a towel for insulation between the skin and the ice pack.
  • Ibuprofen can reduce the inflammation and help ease the pain, but don’t rely on it for long periods of time.  Aspirin can make things worse and acetaminophen is ineffective.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Adequate fiber
  • Bone broth
  • Cherries
  • Flaxseed
  • Fruits
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Herbs
  • Whole, fresh vegetables

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

Many of these are purine-containing foods; purine is broken down into uric acid

  • Alcohol
  • Anchovies
  • Beer
  • Excess seafood
  • Excess sodium
  • Fatty foods
  • Haddock
  • Herring
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Mussels
  • Organ meats
  • Processed foods
  • Processed sugars
  • Red meat
  • Rich foods
  • Scallops
  • Smoking
  • Sugary drinks
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Turkey

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • A pinch of baking soda in water a few times a day for a week or so
  • Beet juice
  • Black cherry juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Nettle tea
  • Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar; 1 tsp in a glass of water 2-3 times a day
  • Yarrow tea

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Bilberry
  • Birch
  • Celery seed
  • Celery seed extract and celery juice
  • Ginger root
  • Gravel root
  • Hawthorn
  • Nettle leaf
  • Parsley
  • Red Clover

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut on the skin, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath.

  • Basil
  • Birch
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • German Chamomile
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Proteolytic enzymes
  • Vitamin C

HYDRATION

Hydration is especially important for helping your body get rid of excess uric acid. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Balance your body’s pH (rather, help your body do it)
  • Castor oil packs
  • Control blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Ground ginger in your bath to mitigate swelling
  • Make a charcoal poultice and apply to the affected joint
  • Massage between the ball of the foot and the bottom of the big toe on each foot. On the left foot, massage the point halfway between the base of the smallest toe and the heel pad.
  • Mix charcoal in a basin of warm water and soak the affected part.
  • Stay well hydrated, which will keep your urine diluted and will help you excrete uric acid.
  • Wrap a honey poultice around a gouty toe.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

Fever can be a sign of infection so if you have fever with hot, inflamed gout, call your doctor.

Untreated or unchecked gout can lead to permanent damage.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Avoid rich foods and excess protein.
  • Limit alcohol (including beer)
  • Low stress levels
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quality sleep
  • Regular exercise

 

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