Relief of Gout Symptoms
While there is no cure for gout, there are things you can do to alleviate the pain of gout. This may not work for everyone and you’ll only know through trial and error.
Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a high concentration of uric acid in the body (hyperuricaemia). These uric acid crystals tend to form around the joints, especially the big toe, but also the ankles, knees, wrists and elbows. If you experience sudden intense pain the joints, it is advisable to see a doctor to determine if your symptoms are caused by gout. There are many ways to alleviate these symptoms but they should be undertaken under a doctor’s care.
Gout is not a new discovery; in fact, there are documents from the time of Hippocrates which identify and characterize it. At that time, it was associated with extravagance and consuming large quantities of rich foods. A study indirectly supported this theory when it was found that a diet full of seafood and meat indicated a higher prevalence of gout. It also revealed that excess alcohol consumption, mostly in the form of beer, accelerated one’s chances of developing gout due to the purine content of these foods. Both men and women are susceptible to gout, however it appears in men more often.
The following is a list of things one can do to alleviate the excruciating pain of gout but trial and error may be necessary to determine which ones are right for each individual case.
1) Drinking at least two liters of water per day will help dilute the urine and pass uric acid through the kidneys. Also, several studies have indicated that 100% cherry juice may help ease the pain.
2) A warm bath and a heated blanket or heating pads have been reported to help disintegrate the uric acid crystals locally.
3) Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume daily can be very helpful in alleviating gout as it hastens the metabolism of purine to uric acid. Alcohol can also contribute to dehydration.
4) Limiting intake of red meats and seafood, which contain high levels of purine, have been shown to lower uric acid levels in the bloodstream.
5) A regular exercise routine, in fact, just increasing physical activity in general will help those who are overweight and more prone to getting gout. Exercise will also increase metabolism and purge the system of excess uric acid.
6) Supplements such as Vitamin C and E have been known to reduce the symptoms of gout, as well as fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid) and foods that contain omega-3 such as soy, walnuts and flaxseed. The latest information about gout supplements suggests that celery seed, which clears acid metabolites, turmeric which is used to treat inflammation due to the high content of curcumin, and boswellia, an anti-inflammatory resin in combination with ginger are very effective in the treatment of gout.
These suggested remedies are just a few things one can do to lessen the discomfort and recurrence of gouty arthritis and should be used after consultation with a qualified health care professional and/or physician. In many cases, they may be used as a complement to the prescribed treatment for gout.