Natural Remedies for Gout

Thankfully, there are a number of natural remedies for gout that can either decrease your chances of getting gout or make dealing with it a little better.

Historically called “the disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease,” gout is a painful medical condition that can affect just about anyone. Although men are somewhat more likely to have gout, people with high levels of uric acid in the body are most at risk. This can be caused by eating a lot of meat and seafood, drinking fruit sugar-sweetened beverages, or being overweight. What’s more, if you don’t take care of high blood pressure or chronic conditions like diabetes, you’re also at increased risk.

Essentially, gout is a kind of arthritis that causes joints or the surrounding tissue to swell and become inflamed. As you can probably imagine, it can be quite painful, especially in the joint at the base of the big toe, the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, elbows, and fingers. Thankfully, there are a number of natural remedies for gout that can either decrease your chances of getting gout or make dealing with it a little better.

1. Stay away from certain meats.

Certain foods cause uric acid levels to spike in the body. These include red meat, organ meats, and seafood (especially anchovies and sardines). Instead of dining at steak houses or barbecue joints, opt for places that serve salads, pasta, and white meat dishes like chicken and pork. The same principles should be applied to cooking at home.

2. Avoid alcohol.

Try to forego alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and anything that’s been sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose). Checking labels will go a long way towards avoiding problem beverages. One drink that’s always a safe bet? Water. Drink it morning, noon, and night as much as you can.

3. Sip a cup of joe.

Researchers have discovered a link between drinking coffee (regular or decaf) and lower uric acid levels in the body. Java has also been found to reduce incidents of depression, help prevent certain cancers, lower your risk of heart disease and heart failure, and maintain cognitive performance levels, so it’s certainly worth a sip.

4. Snack on cherries.

Likewise, cherries are associated with lower uric acid levels, in addition to fewer gout attacks. Tart cherries are also known for helping fight insomnia and aging, so grab a handful and start snacking.

5. Get your vitamin C.

Although it hasn’t been proven to reduce the chances of having a gout attack, vitamin C may actually lower uric acid levels in your blood. Foods naturally high in this vitamin include berries, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, and peas.

6. Consider bromelain.

A natural anti-inflammatory, bromelain is a blend of digestive enzymes found in pineapple juice and the fruit’s stem. It’s usually taken in capsule or tablet form along with food. There hasn’t been a great deal of research into the effects of bromelain, but it’s been most notably touted for helping with a variety of digestive issues.

7. Try deep breathing.

Gout attacks can be brought on as a result of stress, so it’s key to keep life’s emotional and physical strains in check. Deep breathing is a great way to relax and ease tension. Whether it’s part of your regular yoga practice, something you do throughout the day, or something you take 15 minutes for every morning or evening, deep breathing is a great habit to adopt, as it’s been shown to help with pain management.

8. Practice meditation.

It’s safe to say that no two people meditate alike, and that’s probably part of what makes it so appealing to such a wide swath of the population. But the bigger sell likely lies in its ability to boost the immune system via increased antibodies and decreased hormone levels due to stress. Meditation is all about finding the right method that works for you and sticking to it. Be gentle with yourself and choose the time of day when you’re least likely to be distracted. A positive meditation practice should decrease the frequency or severity of gout attacks.

9. Be active.

Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain good health, and that’s especially the case for people with inflammatory conditions like natural remedies for gout. Lose any excess weight or maintain your healthy physique by walking, running, lifting weights, whatever excites you to get up and get moving. If you’re suffering a gout attack, now is not the time to work out. Wait until it passes and then resume activity at a level that’s comfortable.

In addition to trying these natural remedies, you should always ask your doctor about managing gout. And get medical attention if you have a fever combined with a joint that feels hot and inflamed.

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