(Natural News) A form of inflammatory arthritis, gout occurs due to high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid, which is a byproduct from when the body breaks down purines in foods, causes needle-like crystals to form in a joint. This results in pain and discomfort, typically in the ankles, knees and toes.
The good news is that you can manage this condition by making healthy lifestyle and dietary changes that reduce purine levels in the body and the likelihood of having a gout flareup. Here are some of the things you can do to relieve and prevent gout attacks:
- Apply a cold compress to affected joints – Applying a cloth-covered ice pack to the affected joint can lessen gout-related inflammation. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes at a time to help reduce pain. You may also use a pack of frozen vegetables covered with a washcloth if gout is affecting the feet, as this may drape more easily over the feet.
- Avoid high-purine meats – Some meats and seafood contain high amounts of purines. These include bacon, mussels, organ meats like liver, scallops, turkey, veal and venison. Limit your intake of these high-purine foods to help reduce the symptoms of gout.
- Drink coffee – In a 2016 review and meta-analysis, researchers found that those who drank more coffee had a lower risk of gout.
- Drink lemon water – Lemon juice is known to reduce uric acid levels by neutralizing uric acid in the body. To make lemon water, mix juice from a squeezed half lemon with water. You may also add 2 teaspoons turmeric and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Studies have shown that drinking two liters of lemon water each day can reduce uric acid in people with gout.
- Drink lots of water – Swelling caused by gout can be reduced by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water. Drinking more water is essential to kidney function. This can help the kidneys release excess fluid, which can decrease swelling. Keeping the kidneys healthy can also reduce uric acid buildup and gout attacks.
- Eat more cherries – Increasing your intake of cherries – whether raw or as a juice – over two days can reduce the risk of gout attacks by 35 percent, according to a study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology. Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce gout-related inflammation. (Related: Gout: Another metabolic disorder that can be controlled through lifestyle.)
- Eat the right kinds of fish – While certain types of fish contain high amounts of purine, some are helpful in reducing uric acid levels. Some fish to avoid include anchovies, cod, haddock, herring, sardines, trout and tuna.
- Elevate the affected joints – You can reduce swelling and pain, especially in the ankles, feet, hands and knees, by elevating them. This promotes blood and fluid to move away from the joint and back toward the heart. For better results, you may apply a cold compress in addition to elevation.
- Manage your stress levels – Suffering from too much stress can worsen the symptoms of gout. Reduce your stress levels by taking a break from work, writing a journal, reading a book, listening to music, meditating and exercising, given that the pain does not limit movement. Should you exercise, avoid high-intensity ones such those that involve using the joints excessively and lifting heavy weights. Moreover, it is important to get enough rest to lessen stress.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption – Beer is high in purines, so avoid it especially if you have gout. For those who wish to avoid gout, the Arthritis Foundation suggests limiting your alcohol intake to two glasses per day to avoid the risk.
Visit Remedies.news for more ways to manage gout and other diseases naturally.