Often felt at the base of the big toe, gout is a form of arthritis that erupts when too much uric acid accumulates in the blood. Natural remedies can help soothe or prevent these flare-ups.
1. A healthy lifestyle
Sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fructose (including high fructose corn syrup) are strongly associated with an increased risk of gout in men as is alcohol consumption. Substitute plenty of water, which helps flush uric acid from the blood.
2. Dietary measures
Avoid purine-rich foods. All of our cells are partly composed of purines, which form uric acid when they break down.
Meat with a high purine content, such as beef, goose and offal, as well as mussels, anchovies, herring and mackerel, can aggravate gout. However, purine-rich dairy products (such as milk or yoghurt) may help prevent it.
A study published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism found that patients with gout who ate tart cherries or drank cherry extract for two days had a 35–45 per cent lower chance for gout attack.
4. Celery seed
Celery seed oil has long been used to help treat inflammatory conditions such as gout or rheumatism.
A natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory, bromelain is an enzyme derived from the stem of a pineapple.
Supplementing with bromelain may stimulate circulation and help drain swollen tissues.
Quick fix: If you have gout pain, think RICE—rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the pain will allow you to do so, use an ice pack and raise the joint above the level of your heart. Ice the affected area several times a day for 20–30 minutes.
See your doctor: If you experience sudden, intense joint pain, see a doctor. If your gout goes untreated, the pain can become debilitating and the condition can cause permanent damage. Head to the doctor immediately if you develop a fever or if the joint is swollen and hot.
Read more: 6 Teas that could improve your health
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