There is no cure for gout. However, a combination of medications and home remedies, such as staying hydrated and applying ice, may help to keep gout in remission.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes pain and discomfort, often in the toes, ankles, and knees. Making dietary changes can help people reduce their purine levels and the likelihood of having a gout flare.
This article discusses several natural remedies for gout.
Gout occurs when the body produces too much uric acid. This acid is a byproduct of when the body breaks down purines found in foods.
This excess uric acid forms crystals, which the body can deposit in all tissues. However, the crystals
The crystals can also form growths around affected joints, known as tophi.
Home remedies for gout include:
1. Drinking plenty of water
When a person has gout, they can experience significant swelling and inflammation. One of the ways to
Increasing fluid consumption can kick-start a person’s kidneys to release excess fluid, reducing swelling in a person with gout.
Water is best. However, other clear fluids, such as broths and herbal teas, are also good choices. People should avoid alcohol and sodas, which are high in purines.
However, anyone with congestive heart failure or kidney disease should talk with their doctor before increasing their fluid intake.
Discover more benefits of drinking water here.
2. Applying ice to affected joints
Applying a cloth-covered ice pack to the joint can help reduce gout-related inflammation.
Try applying an ice pack or other cold object wrapped in a thin towel for 20–30 minutes to help relieve pain.
Discover the best ways to make a cold compress here.
3. Reducing stress
Heightened stress can worsen gout symptoms. While it is not always possible to eliminate all sources of stress, the following tips might help:
- exercising if the pain does not limit movement
- asking for time off from work
- journaling or reading a favorite book
Getting enough rest can also help a person feel less stressed.
Discover the causes of stress and how it impacts the body here.
4. Elevating the affected joints
Gout can cause pain and swelling, especially in the feet, hands, knees, and ankles.
One way to reduce swelling is by elevating the affected joints. This encourages blood and fluid to move away from the joint and back toward the heart.
A person can also use an ice pack with elevation to reduce their gout symptoms. These two remedies form part of the rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) method.
Learn more about the RICE method here.
5. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
While over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), may not be “natural,” they are good options for treating pain and inflammation due to gout.
People should never take more than the recommended dose and always ask a doctor whether OTC medicines might interfere with their other medications.
If OTC pain relievers do not help, a person may wish to ask a doctor about stronger prescription medications.
6. Drinking coffee
Some people believe drinking coffee may decrease the risk of experiencing gout.
A 2016 review and meta-analysis showed that those who drank more coffee were less likely to have gout. This may be because coffee can lower uric acid levels.
However, just because the study showed a correlation between higher coffee consumption and a lower risk of gout, this does not mean that coffee caused the lower risk.
Discover more potential health benefits of coffee here.
7. Eating a balanced diet
A balanced diet containing a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods can
Plant-based diets can be of
Learn more about the best diet for gout here.
8. Drinking lemon water
A 2015 study found that adding the juice of two freshly squeezed lemons to 2 liters of water each day reduced uric acid in people with gout.
The researchers concluded that lemon water helps neutralize uric acid in the body, thus helping to reduce levels.
Discover the benefits of drinking lemon water.
9. Limiting alcohol intake
According to the Arthritis Foundation, drinking more than two liquor-based drinks or two beers per day increases a person’s risk of gout.
Beer is high in purines, so avoiding it can benefit a person with gout.
Learn more about the link between beer and gout here.
10. Avoiding high-purine meats
Some meats contain high amounts of purines. Avoiding these might help to reduce a person’s gout symptoms.
Meats and fish that are high in purines include:
- organ meats, such as liver
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation from gout.
- Colchicine: This medication helps stop uric acid from forming into crystals. Colchicine can help treat existing gout symptoms and help prevent future flares.
- Corticosteroids: Doctors may recommend oral or IV corticosteroids in cases where other medications have not reduced gout symptoms. These medications can reduce inflammation and pain.
Rarely, doctors may recommend surgery to treat severe cases of gout. A person may be a candidate for surgery if gout causes extreme pain, a major abnormality, or there is a severe infection at the site.
Surgery options for gout include:
- Joint fusion: If chronic gout causes significant tissue damage, surgeons may fuse a joint together to stabilize it.
- Joint replacement: Surgeons can remove affected joints and replace them with artificial structures.
- Tophi removal: A surgeon can remove tophi in cases of severe discomfort, abnormality, or infection.
Gout flares can be painful and exhausting. Treatments, including home remedies, can reduce symptoms and help prevent future flares.
Reaching or maintaining a moderate weight and exercising regularly can also help a person manage their condition.
If a flare does not start to ease after 48 hours, a person should call their doctor to determine if they need further medical treatments.