Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Home Remedies For Gout Pain And Swelling

Gout is a form of arthritis that develops when too much uric acid builds up in the blood and causes inflammation, redness and pain in the joints. It can develop in any joint, but it usually starts in the big toe and feet. Normally, uric acid is flushed out of the body, but in some cases the body may begin making too much or may not be as efficient as it once was at removing it. Drugs are available to treat and prevent the condition, but there are some things you can do at home when gout strikes. Have a question? Get an answer from a Medical Professional now!

Home Remedies For Gout Pain And Swelling

A good way to relieve gout swelling is by consuming enough water to flush excess uric acid from the body. Uric acid build up is a contributing factor of swelling and inflammation. You can also apply ice at 20-minute intervals throughout the day directly to the swollen area to reduce the pain and swelling caused by gout. Limit your intake or avoid foods such as beans and all legumes, mushrooms, alcohol, and shellfish. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help as well.

In addition to icing the painful area, it is important to rest the affected body part. When you are experiencing a painful flare-up affecting the foot, for example, stay off your feet. Relax throughout the day as much as possible. If lying in bed or on a favorite chair, prop up your affected foot to keep it elevated and alleviate the pain. Putting too much pressure on the swollen area by standing or walking too much can further increase swelling and pain.

Gout swelling is a direct result of inflammation. To reduce the inflammation and help ease the pain, take an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen. You can also take aspirin, although if you are taking an anticoagulant blood-thinning drug, you should not use this medication. In severe cases of swelling and pain, a medical professional may prescribe a higher dose NSAID.

To prevent future flare-ups of painful gout swelling and inflammation, you may want to re-evaluate your diet and alter some eating habits, as well as keep your weight under control. Being overweight can worsen symptoms of gout. If you consume beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages regularly, limit your intake. Seafood and red meat should be consumed in moderation as well, and avoid rich gravies and sauces in your diet to help reduce gout symptoms.

If you're looking for natural remedies, aloe vera gel can be very helpful. Aloe has natural anti-inflammatory properties, so rubbing the juice derived from an aloe plant (or some aloe gel from a bottle) into the inflamed skin can help relieve the swelling.

A healthful way to decrease the pain associated with gout is to eat some fresh fruit rich in antioxidants. Experts suggest that consuming blueberries, cherries, or cherry juice may help reduce inflammation. Especially helpful are the deeper red, tart cherries. This type of fruit contains anthocyanins, which contain beneficial and powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Some researchers have discovered that these tart cherries may provide more anti-inflammatory benefits than aspirin.

Soaking Baths

A good idea for treating gout at home is a soaking bath. Try adding a third of a cup of ground ginger to hot water and soaking your feet or affected joints for about a half-hour. This will cause you to sweat, which will help your body eliminate uric acid buildup and relieve gout symptoms. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse your skin afterward to prevent irritation. You can also try an Epsom salt bath. Add two cups of Epsom salt to hot water and soak until the water is no longer warm to treat gout flare-ups.

Gout Diet

Eating a diet high in purines, a protein that occurs naturally in some food sources, can also contribute to gout. To treat symptoms and prevent attacks, it's best to adopt a low-purine diet. First, eliminate foods high in purines, such as sweetbreads, organ meats, game meats and seafood such as herring, mackerel, sardines and scallops. Other meat sources, such poultry, meat, fish and seafood, also contain purines, along with legumes and whole-grain breads, and consumption should be limited. Good food sources for people with gout include most fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and breads and cereals. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, are also high in purines and should be avoided.

Pain Relief

Common over-the-counter pain relievers can provide some quick relief from the pain and swelling of gout. Try a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Advil and Aleve are both NSAIDs and should help gout sufferers. Other pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can also be used. If you try over-the-counter drugs and are still in pain, you can speak with your doctor about prescription-strength pain relievers.

Cherries and Berries

Cherries and other dark berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, can help lower uric acid levels in the body and may be useful in treating gout. Either eating these fruits or drinking cherry juice can be beneficial for people who suffer from gout. However, to be useful, these foods have to be consumed regularly---at least daily.