The name itself, “gout,” sounds like an archaic term, something out of a history book or a Charles Dickens novel, not something you would expect to see or hear about in the 21st century. But gout is still a medical condition that crops up often enough in today’s world. Its symptoms closely resemble what arthritis sufferers experience on a chronic basis, although various treatment options, medications, and home remedies can help make such an arthritic life more bearable – just as it can for gout.
What Does Gout Entail?
Per effectiveremedies.com, gout is an illness that can show up in various parts of your body, to include major joints such as the knees, ankles, and wrists, producing inflammation and accompanying pain. It is caused by an excess of uric acid (a disorder known as hyperuricemia), referring to a chemical produced by a process in your body involving the breakdown of substances referred to as purines. Per health.harvard.edu, it is not the uric acid itself that causes gout, but the crystals created via the consolidation of surplus uric acid, leading to joint inflammation.
Gout, referred to by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a type of inflammatory arthritis, typically flares up without a warning or gradual buildup, and it can last for days and even weeks. That can be followed by lengthy durations of remission before it pops up again out of nowhere, usually appearing on one joint at a time, most frequently the big toe. Not only is gout painful – severe at that – but is also usually marked by swelling, redness, and a hot sensation.
One quirk about gout and its long history of notoriety is that it has sometimes been referred to as an “illness of the rich” because one of the causes is believed to be the lack of exercise, which in years past was often associated with people too rich to want to break a sweat – let others do it for them.
Factors Contributing to Gout
Per the CDC, there are a number of conditions or factors, such as being male, that could contribute to an increased risk of a person developing hyperuricemia. Other such states of being include:
- Congestive heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Deficient kidney function
- Alcohol use
- Consumption of drinks or foods abundant in fructose
- A diet high in purines, large amounts of which can be found in red meat, organ meat, and various seafoods such as anchovies, scallops, trout, and tuna
Remedies that Can Help Prevent or Treat Gout
First, it helps to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor if you believe you might have gout, mindful that its symptoms can be similar to those linked to other diseases or afflictions. Ultimately, you might be directed to see a rheumatologist, who specializes in treating gout and other forms of arthritis.
Following are some remedies or preventative measures to consider:
- A healthy diet. This starts with knowing which consumables to avoid, such as the aforementioned foods rich in purines. Or at least practice strict moderation.
- Exercise. In other words, avoid “rich man’s disease,” no offense meant toward hale and healthy millionaires and billionaires. Experts typically suggest 150 total weekly minutes of moderate exercise, which might include low-impact activities such as walking, biking, or swimming.
- Magnesium. A study cited at healthline.com suggests that sufficient amounts of this dietary mineral is linked to lower and healthier levels of uric acid in your body.
- Stinging nettle. This herb has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain within the body, but its effectiveness in easing the symptoms of gout needs more scientific validation.
- Milk thistle. Two studies involving rats referenced at healthline.com hinted that this herb, most often linked to liver health, might also be able to reduce uric acid levels.
- Ginger root. As an anti-inflammatory, it can ease the pain of gout.
- Activated charcoal. This goes about relieving goat symptoms from a different angle with its ability to absorb uric acid in your bloodstream. Per effectiveremedies.com, it is recommended that if gout is being a pain in your whatever, adding some to your bath can provide relief.
- Celery seeds. These are full of antioxidants that can diminish the extreme discomfort of gout.