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Gout is a chronic condition that occurs when elevated levels of uric acid cause arthritis pain in the joints. The attacks are very sudden and can be difficult to predict. Symptoms of flares include stiffness, swelling, and extreme pain, which can be caused by the lightest pressure, such as from a bedsheet. Physicians can administer and prescribe many treatments for gout to reduce attacks and manage symptoms when they occur, but various home remedies can supplement medical therapies. Always speak to a doctor before making significant changes to diet or lifestyle.

Drink More Water

One of easiest and most significant ways to prevent or ease gout flare-ups is to drink more water. Staying hydrated reduces the amount of uric acid in the body. Fluctuations in this chemical cause gout, and flushing out as much as possible will reduce symptoms. There are plenty of apps available to help track water consumption and provide reminders. Proper hydration also helps avoid the formation of kidney stones and maintain a healthy weight, an excess of which can also trigger gout.

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Get Some Rest

Gout flare-ups often make it difficult for an affected individual to move without pain. Though this can impact day-to-day activities and productivity, it may also be viewed as a good reminder to reduce one's responsibilities until the flare-up has passed. Rest is one of the best remedies for a gout attack. Ideally, the person will stay off the affected joint as much as possible and elevate it when possible. Elevating the extremity may also help reduce swelling.

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Use a Cold Compress or Soak

Applying a cold compress during a gout attack can help ease inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, sensitivity to pressure can make this a problematic treatment in some cases. Soaking the joint in cold water is a similar but gentler option. Keep the foot or other joint elevated when using the compress, if possible, or elevate for 20 minutes after soaking in water. Be careful not to soak too long or let the water temperature get too cold, as this can make symptoms worse.

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Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol can aggravate gout and trigger flare-ups because of the role it plays in raising uric acid levels. Even the occasional drink at a social event can prompt symptoms. Research shows beer is the worst offender, but avoiding all alcohol is ideal when a person has experienced gout. In some cases, drinking water after consuming an alcoholic  beverage can lessen the risk of an attack.

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Reduce Caffeine Intake

If you have gout, caffeine is both a gift and a curse. Caffeine is preventive medicine for people who do not already have gout. However, if you already have gout, caffeine makes your condition worse. Moreover, consuming caffeine on a regular basis places you more at risk. According to a 2010 study, people who increase their caffeine intake suddenly through coffee or tea are more likely to experience gout attacks. This increase in attacks occurs because caffeine moves uric acid through body tissues.

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Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be an inexpensive home remedy for gout, helping reduce pain and inflammation. Apples contain malic acid, which can help to lower uric acid levels. Because the vinegar is so acidic, it is best to drink it diluted in a glass of water. This both increases water intake and prevents the vinegar from affecting tooth enamel or upsetting the stomach.

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Apply Ginger Root

Ginger root is another kitchen staple with anti-inflammatory properties. There are many ways to increase ginger in the diet, including drinking ginger tea. For gout, a ginger root paste can be especially effective. Mix fresh ginger root with water until it is paste-like and apply it to the swollen joint for 30 to 40 minutes. This can help reduce swelling and pain. Some people may react to the topical application of ginger, so it is best to try some on a small area first.

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Consider Probiotics

Recent research suggests that getting more probiotics in your diet could help decrease the number of gout flare-ups. The specific probiotic in question is L. salivarius. It has potential because it metabolizes purine-related compounds and converts uric acid, processes that reduce some triggers of gout flares.

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Avoid Purines and Sugar

As mentioned, specific foods and drinks can increase uric acid and trigger gout flare-ups. In addition to alcohol and caffeine, sugar, salt, and foods high in purines, such as seafood, are common culprits that trigger attacks. People with gout should avoid organ meats like liver and sausage and avoid processed sugar items such as candy and soft drinks as well as foods that contain a high salt content. Some people can prevent gout attacks or significantly reduce their impact simply by eliminated such foods from their diets.

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Lemon Juice

Lemons contain some key ingredients that make them a powerful weapon against gout. First, they are rich in vitamin C, which is known to relieve gout pain. Lemons also contain potassium, which is necessary for proper kidney function. A healthy kidney is useful in filtering your blood. Potassium also helps to keep your blood and urine pH alkaline. This means that lemons can help prevent gout. Moreover, they act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Over time, lemons strengthen your joints and tissues, making them less likely to collect uric acid or develop arthritis. The best way to drink lemon juice is by mixing it with water. Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm water in the morning. Additionally, you also can repeat this during the afternoon. To increase the effect of lemons, you can add baking soda to your water.

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Cherries

For many reasons, cherries are an ideal natural remedy for gout. First of all, they are rich in vitamins C and A. These nutrients are important for a healthy body and contribute to a high-functioning liver. Moreover, cherries are an excellent source of fiber. Multiple studies show that consistent intake of cherries may reduce uric acid levels by up to 50 percent. If you eat as few as ten cherries a day, you can reduce gout flare-ups by about 35 percent. Additionally, they may contribute to reducing joint inflammation as well as overall pain. Cherries are low in calories, making them appeal to those who also are looking to lose weight. In addition to eating raw cherries, you also can drink cherry juice. Almost all cherry products and foods contain cherry extract, the beneficial element for gout.

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Exercise

Exercise strengthens bones, joints, and muscles and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Staying in shape keeps illnesses away and improves overall health. If you deal with gout, your exercise routine plays a central role in reversing the effects of your condition. By exercising, you reduce pain and improve energy levels. However, exercise alone is not enough. To reap the full benefits of an exercise plan, you also should eat healthy balanced meals. If you are overweight, you are already at risk for gout. Conversely, if you already have gout, keeping a healthy weight will help you ward off gout attacks. Sometimes these attacks are caused by stress. However, you should wait until a gout attack has passed before you start exercising again.

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Try Baking Soda

Baking soda is another popular and wide-ranging home remedy. Adding a teaspoon of this alkaline agent to a cup of water can help ease gout flare-ups but shouldn't be taken in excess as large quantities can be detrimental. As always, speak to a doctor about any home remedies you are using or plan to try. The physician will let you know whether any options are poorly suited to your case and warn of any possible side effects or drug interactions. Ideally, people with gout will follow a treatment regimen that combines medical care and home remedies.

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Apply Activated Charcoal

A paste made from activated charcoal can benefit people with gout as some people believe it absorbs uric acid. Leave the paste on the inflamed joint for about half an hour to draw out uric acid and decrease swelling, speeding recovery. Using cool water to clean off the paste adds the benefit of a compress or soak.

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Eat Pineapples

Pineapples contain an enzyme known as bromelain, which has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Bromelain can help reduce the swelling and pain associated with gout flare-ups. Eating pineapples or drinking fresh pineapple juice could be a tasty and beneficial addition to a gout-friendly diet. However, like with any dietary change, it's essential to keep portions in mind and consider individual tolerance levels.

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Bananas

Bananas are a rich source of potassium, a mineral that may help reduce uric acid levels in the body. They also provide vitamin C, which is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, potentially aiding in the management of gout symptoms. Incorporating bananas into your diet may thus offer dual benefits. Remember to consume in moderation, as they are also high in natural sugars.

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Stir in Some Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies suggest that the regular consumption of flaxseeds might help reduce uric acid levels in the body, thereby mitigating the severity of gout attacks. Ground flaxseeds can be easily added to smoothies, salads, or even baked goods, offering a versatile option for inclusion in the daily diet.

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Nettle Tea

Nettle tea has a long history of use in traditional medicine due to its natural diuretic properties. It may assist the body in flushing out excess uric acid, potentially relieving gout symptoms. To make nettle tea, steep dried nettle leaves in boiling water for about ten minutes before straining and drinking.

However, those taking blood thinners or diuretics should consult with a healthcare provider before consuming nettle tea due to potential drug interactions.

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Epsom Salt Soaks

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is often used in bath soaks to alleviate various aches and pains, including those caused by gout. The magnesium in Epsom salt may help to relax and soothe affected areas, thereby reducing discomfort. Soaking the affected joint in a warm Epsom salt bath for 15 to 20 minutes can offer relief. Be mindful not to make the water too hot as it may exacerbate inflammation.

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Turmeric

Turmeric is a potent spice with strong anti-inflammatory properties, largely due to its active ingredient, curcumin. Adding turmeric to your diet could potentially help manage the inflammatory aspects of gout. This vibrant spice can be incorporated into various dishes, or consumed as a tea or supplement. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, including turmeric.

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Celery Seeds

Celery seeds have traditionally been used to treat various ailments, including gout, due to their believed ability to decrease the production of uric acid and assist in its removal from the body. Adding celery seeds to your diet or taking celery seed extract supplements could potentially help to manage gout symptoms.

As always, consultation with a healthcare provider is advised before starting new dietary or supplement practices.

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Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds are believed to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, potentially beneficial in managing gout symptoms. These seeds can be soaked in water overnight, and the water can be consumed the next morning. Alternatively, they can be included in cooking.

It's important to remember that while these seeds can complement gout management strategies, they are not a standalone treatment.

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Switch to a Plant-Based Diet

Switching to a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and low in animal products, may help lower uric acid levels and prevent gout flares. Such a diet tends to be lower in purines, substances that can raise uric acid levels in the body.

However, a drastic change in diet should always be undertaken under the guidance of a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure nutritional needs are being met.

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Use Essential Oils

Essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender have anti-inflammatory properties that may help to alleviate gout pain when applied topically. Dilute a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin to prevent irritation.

It's important to conduct a patch test to check for any allergic reactions before using it more widely. This remedy should be considered complementary to prescribed gout treatments and not a substitute.

Woman holding a dropper of sublingual cbd cannabis hemp oil - Alternative medical treatment Vanessa Nunes / Getty Images

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.