Gout is a form of arthritis, or inflammatory arthritis to be more specific. It causes pain and discomfort in the knees, ankles, and toes. While there is no cure for gout, a combination of home remedies and medications can help ensure that gout doesn’t hamper your day-to-day life. Doctors have found that gout occurs due to the build-up of uric acid, which is a natural by-product of the breaking down of purines found in food. Simple dietary changes can alter purine levels and thus keep gout in check.
Let’s look at some of these lifestyle changes and natural treatments for gout, and how they can help in the long run:
1. Drink water
A person who has gout will have increased pain and inflammation in their body. One way to solve this problem is to increase their fluid intake. They are advised to consume plenty of water. This will have several benefits. The kidneys will flush out the excess water, and thus reduce swelling as a consequence. While water is ideal, other liquids like broths and herbal teas will also have a positive effect. You are advised to avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol as they have a high purine content. If you unfortunately happen to have congestive heart failure or kidney disease, then talk to your doctor, as increasing your fluid intake could be dangerous.
2. Application of ice
A cloth covered ice pack can also be applied on the affected joints to reduce inflammation and bring down pain. If people happen to suffer from inflammation in the toes, then placing a bag of frozen vegetables on the affected area may be more suitable, as it will be able to drape over the affected area easily. Try covering the ice in a washcloth or thin towel, and placing it on the affected areas for fifteen minutes. This should bring down inflammation and provide relief.
3. Reducing stress
It is also important to get rid of all sources of stress, as stress has been shown to make gout symptoms worse. A good way to get rid of stress is by exercising and taking strolls or short walks as long as the pain doesn’t inhibit movement. Some other tips include taking some time off from work, meditating, and even journaling. These are all healthy and relaxing, and will have the intended effect. Some people may also choose to read a book or listen to music. Getting enough sleep and rest also reduces stress levels considerably.
4. Epsom salts
Some people may recommend having a bath in epsom salts to give relief. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, and it is thought that soaking the body in this water will give relief from pain. However, the magnesium cannot be adequately absorbed through the water, so the efficacy of this treatment depends on patient to patient. You may try soaking specific parts of the body that are affected in the water.