Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.
Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.
An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable.
Symptoms of Gout include:
- Intense joint pain
- Lingering joint discomfort
- Inflammation and redness at the joints
- Limited range of motion.
Natural Remedy For Gout
Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.
1. Barley Grass
Barley grass powder is a powerful alkalinizer. This means that it can balance off the acidity of the body and so reduce the buildup of uric acid crystals by dissolving them. It is also high in antioxidants so it can reduce and prevent the inflammation of gout. It is also rich in Vitamin B, specifically folic acid, which will dissolve uric acid crystals. In addition, folic acid inhibits the body’s production of certain enzymes responsible for uric acid production.
Curcumin or turmeric extract is a very effective in reducing the inflammation and stiffness in joint pain. It is also good at improving the immune system. Curcumin is the most active chemical in turmeric. It’s responsible for turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory abilities. Researchers found that curcumin can suppress the protein NF-kappa B which triggers inflammation caused by excess uric acid.
3. Tart Cherry
Tart Cherry or sour cherry juice treats gout flare-ups by reducing the level of uric acid in the body. Since uric acid buildup is what causes gout, it only goes to reason that cherry juice could prevent or treat gout flare-ups.
According to a clinical study, Tart Cherry reduces uric acid because they contain anthocyanins which is what gives cherries their color. Anthocyanins are also found in other fruits, such as blueberries, but there’s a lack of conclusive research on the effects of blueberry consumption on gout. Anthocyanins also have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes cherry juice a natural anti-inflammatory. This may help ease the swelling associated with gout.
4. Pandan Leave
There is a folklore remedy of boiling pandan leaves and drinking the water to help resolve gout pain. The effect of this remedy is not proven or validated but since pandan water is a rather fragrant treat and is the famous all time drink in Thai restaurants, there is no harm trying it out.
5. Control Your Diet
Avoid consuming too much food that contains purine. Purine is found in high amounts in many sinfully good foods including anchovies, sardines, shellfish, oily fish, red meat like pork, beef and lamb and animal organs like liver, kidney and heart. Although excessive purine can cause gout, it is, however, not an evil compound at all. In fact, it is the building block of our DNA. We actually need purine in our daily lives, only the problem now is that the regulation of purine level is out of balance.
Exercising helps control your weight. It is important to stay away from obesity as obesity is one of the risk factors of gout. Normally, uric acid is eliminated through your kidneys. But the more you weigh, the less efficiently your kidneys work. This puts you at higher risk of gout – a tenfold or more risk for the heaviest people. People who have visceral fat (belly fat) – even if they’re not technically overweight – are more likely to develop gout.
Drinking plenty of water helps keep your body hydrated apart from flushing your body and kidneys of uric acid, especially if you are consuming urine alkalinizers. Make sure you drink a lot of water so that uric acid doesn’t get trapped at the kidneys and turn into stone. On the other hand, alcohol dehydrates your body and also contributes to higher uric acid levels. Hence, avoid alcohol as much as possible.