Gout is a kind of arthritis which is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, usually a big toe. Any joint may be involved in a gout attack and also it may be more than one joint. The most frequent sites being in the feet, ankles, knees, and elbows. Gout is most common in men but women become increasingly susceptible to gout after menopause. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Many people with high levels of uric acid in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in blood is too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals and deposited in an affected joint.
A typical gout attack can occur suddenly, often in the middle of the night with the intolerable burning sensation in the big toe and the affected joint become hot, swollen and tender. People who are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat, fish and certain foods that are high in chemicals called purines, have higher chances of getting gout.
Timing of treatment is important in gout. The speed of recovery is often related to how long after the attack, therapy is started. For example, if a patient begins treatment within an hour of its onset, the attack can often be resolved within a day or two. If the treatment starts after a week of gout, however, it may take longer to resolve.
- Severe pain in affected joint
- Affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red
- Joint discomfort
- Limited joint movement as gout progresses
- Cherries: Eat 10-15 fresh cherries daily. Cherries are considered an effective remedy for gout and have been associated with lower levels of uric acid as well as a reduced number of gout attacks.
- Apple: Take one apple after each meal. Malic acid contained in apple is believed to neutralise the uric acid and provide relief.
- Coffee: Drink regular and decaffeinated coffee. Coffee is been associated with lower levels of uric acid in studies.
- Vegetable juices: Carrot juice in combination with the juices of beet and cucumber is especially valuable. Beet juice-100ml and cucumber juice-100ml should be mixed with 300ml of carrot juice to make 500ml of combined juice and taken daily.
- Lime: Take the juice of half a lime squeezed into a glass of water daily. Vitamin C is known to prevent and cure sore joints by strengthening the connective tissues of the body. The citric acid found in lime is a solvent of the uric acid which is the primary cause of the disease. Note: The use of vitamin C should be taken carefully due to high levels of acidity.
- Vinegar: Mix one teaspoon apple cider vinegar with equal amount of organic honey and take two times a day in the initial few days for fast recovery.
- Cold compress/packs: Apply cold packs or cold compresses on the affected joint for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day, only if the pain isn’t too bad. It helps lessen the inflammation and pain.
- Drink plenty of water to flush out the uric acid. Urate crystals may collect in the urinary tract of people with gout, causing kidney stones.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits which is rich in vitamin C, especially oranges. Supplements containing vitamin C may reduce the levels of uric acid in blood.
- Take low-fat dairy products which is the best-bet protein sources and may actually have a protective effect against gout.
- Limit alcohol intake, as alcohol decreases the excretion of uric acid and also increases its production. Try to eliminate beer completely from diet if at all possible.
- Exercise regularly and keep your weight under control. The body produces more uric acid if you are overweight.
- Treat high blood pressure and chronic conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart and kidney diseases promptly.
- Elevate the affected joint which may help lessen swelling.
- Try meditation and relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises which may help take your mind off from pain.
- Take rest during gout attack otherwise it can prolong the attack.
- Do not take foods which has very high purine content such as such as steak, seafood, and organ meats such as liver, brains, and kidneys.
- Avoid drinks sweetened with fruit sugar which promotes higher levels of uric acid, which increases your risk of gout.
- Avoid fasting or rapid weight loss, since doing so may temporarily raise uric acid levels.
- If have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection.
- Pain is becoming worse and develops new symptoms. Gout that goes untreated can lead to joint damage.