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Are There Any Natural Remedies for Gout?

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OverviewNatural remediesSymptomsHow to manage flare-upsSummary
Gout causes intense joint pain, most commonly in the big toe. You can often manage gout symptoms with medications and natural remedies.
Medically reviewed by Margaret R. Li, MD, FACR
Written by Suan Pineda
Updated on

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid levels in the blood build up in the joints. Uric acid is a natural waste product of the body breaking down dietary compounds known as purines.

Gout can affect all joints and causes severe pain, skin discoloration, and swelling in the affected area. You can often treat gout with lifestyle strategies and other natural remedies, but medications and other interventions are also available.

Gout treatments

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Treatment options for gout can address the underlying cause and alleviate immediate symptoms.

Medications to lower uric acid include allopurinol (Zyloprim), febuxostat (​​Uloric), and pegloticase (Krystexxa),

Doctors may also recommend other medications to alleviate the symptoms of acute gout episodes. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), analgesics, corticosteroids, and colchicine.

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Besides medications and surgery, there are natural ways you can manage gout symptoms. Let’s look at these remedies and how they may help relieve symptoms of the condition.

List of natural remedies for gout

Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis, affecting about 8.3 million adults, most of whom are men.

You can prevent and manage gout symptoms without medication by making diet changes and practicing specific lifestyle strategies. 

Foods that can help with gout

Many foods and drinks contain compounds known as purines. When your body breaks down purines, it produces uric acid as a byproduct. Excess uric acid in the blood can form crystals in joints, causing gout.

Following a low purine diet and drinking plenty of water daily can help reduce uric acid concentration in the blood.

Foods that can help reduce the risk of gout flares as part of a low purine diet include

  • cherries
  • citrus fruits such as lemons and limes
  • fruit and vegetables high in vitamin C, such as peppers and oranges
  • whole grains
  • low dairy

Still, it is important to moderate fruit intake, as the naturally occurring sugars in many fruits can increase uric acid levels when consumed in excess.

Foods to limit if you have gout

Certain foods are high in purine content and may trigger gout symptoms to flare up. Limiting the intake of these foods may help reduce gout symptoms.

Foods that may trigger symptom flare-ups include:

  • alcohol
  • red meat
  • organ meats
  • sugar
  • seafood 
  • fatty foods

Lifestyle strategies

Lifestyle factors are also important in managing symptoms of gout and preventing flare-ups. Some lifestyle strategies that can help you cope with the condition include:

  • Eating a balanced diet: Try to eat a diet low in sugar and fats and high in vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
  • Exercising: Regular physical activity can help you keep a moderate weight and reduce uric acid levels. Choose low- to moderate-intensity activities to minimize the impact on your joints. 
  • Rest and relax: Gout flare-ups can affect your daily activities and quality of life. Managing its symptoms can be stressful, so consider practicing relaxation techniques like meditation. 

Symptoms

Some people with gout are asymptomatic, which means they don’t experience any symptoms or discomfort from the condition. 

For people who do experience symptoms, the most common one is intense pain in the affected joint. Swelling, skin discoloration, warmth, and stiffness are other symptoms you may experience during a gout flare. 

Gout flares often start suddenly at night — the intense pain may be bad enough to wake you up. In addition, your joint may feel swollen, warm, and stiff.

Severe symptoms of a gout attack include:

  • worsening pain
  • high temperature and shivering
  • loss of appetite

In these cases, call a healthcare professional immediately or go to your nearest emergency service.

Managing flare-ups

A gout flare-up usually lasts from 5–7 days. When you experience a flare-up, it’s recommended that you:

  • Take any medications a healthcare professional has prescribed you, whether to relieve pain or lower your uric acid.
  • Raise and rest the affected joint.
  • Place an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the joint for up to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Keep hydrated and drink lots of water.

Summary

Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in your system. 

People who have gout experience intense pain in their joints, most commonly in their big toes. They may experience swelling, redness, and stiffness as well. Some people with gout may not experience any symptoms at all.

Treatment options for gout include medications to lower uric acid and alleviate pain, natural remedies to address the symptoms and cause of gout, and lifestyle strategies that can help prevent gout episodes.

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