What is gout?
Gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in joints, commonly in the big toe, but can also affect the ankles, knees, hands, and wrists.
The pain is caused by a build up of uric acid in the joints which form uric acid crystals resulting in an attack of intense pain.
The affected joint will become swollen, red, tender to touch and warm. Symptoms can take up to 10 days to stop.
There are many over-the-counter pain relief medicines that may help ease the pain of gout. However, if you’re looking for a more natural solution, there are natural options that could help.
Many believe that cherry juice extract can reduce the levels of uric acid in the body and reduce the risk of a flare up.
This may be because cherries contain anthocyanins, which is what gives cherries their colour. Anthocyanins are considered to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce the swelling of gout.
Cherries are also rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to contribute to lower levels of uric acid and the normal function of collagen which is found in the joints.
It’s thought that some essentials oils have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Oils like lemongrass, eucalyptus, frankincense and ginger are thought to help.
Never use undiluted essential oils directly onto your skin or digest them. Mix with water in a spray bottle for a calming spritz or mix with a carrier oil or unscented body lotion and massage into the skin.
Fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the body which may help to reduce the severity of a gout attack.
Supplementing your diet with fatty acids like Omega-3 or Algal Oil can also benefit you if you’re cutting out fish and shellfish that have a high purine content.
How to treat gout at home
If you experience an attack of gout;
- raise the affected area
- keep the joint cool
- drink fluids to hydrate
- protect the affected area from knocks or further damage
- rest and relax
Foods to avoid with gout
Uric acid is formed when the body breaks down purine. Purine is naturally found the body, but can also be found in food and drink and cause a build-up.
Foods like oily fish, shellfish, red meats, offal, fruit juice, sugary drinks and alcohol. Foods with a high content of yeast extract like marmite, bovril and vegemite also have high levels of purines.
What foods get rid of gout
A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains is important for everyone to help maintain a healthy weight and ensures the body gets all of the nutrients it needs. A healthy weight and avoiding foods that are high in purines could also reduce your risk of an attack or flareup.
Studies have also shown that those who have a diet rich in vitamin C were less likely to develop gout. If you would like to supplement with vitamin C, consult your doctor first.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
Last updated: 10th February 2020