Those who know that they have gout can identify the symptoms of the ailment right away. However, if you are unaware – waking up in the middle of night with swollen and tender joints can be a terrifying experience. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop the gout attack once it occurs but you can ease the pain that comes with its symptoms by implementing a few alternative remedies.
What is gout?
Gout, a type of arthritis is common in those who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid forms crystals in the joint that results in sharp pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness. The base of the big toe is the primary area for the gout to show up but it can also appear in other joint areas such as elbows, knee, ankle, and wrist.
See a doctor
If you suspect a gout flare-up, initially it is best to consult your general physician. If your doctor diagnoses you have gout and high levels of uric acid, he will prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs along with over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen to control the flare-ups.
As with any illness, it is important that you continue taking the medicines as prescribed even during the gout attack.
How to get rid of gout pain fast – home remedies
Besides taking medicines as directed by your physician, there are some home remedies you can try to ease the pain and reduce inflammation. However, please note that they are not a replacement for medical treatment and should be implemented alongside your doctor’s recommendation. Additionally, home remedies work differently on different individuals. This means that if one tip works for you, it may or may not work on others.
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to ease joint pain. For treating gout pain with ginger root, individuals can use the ingredient in different recipes or mix it in tea.
Some people with gout also apply ginger root topically to the affected area to lessen the pain.
Although, there are not many researches to prove the effectiveness of Epsom salt – it is commonly used by patients of arthritis and gout to relieve pain. Simply mix the salt in warm bath water and soak for at least 30 minutes for maximum pain relief.
Bananas are high in potassium that helps prevent the uric acid crystals from forming in the body. Eating a banana or two everyday can lessen your chances of a gout flare up. In case, the crystallization of the uric acid has already occurred in the body – the potassium present in bananas prevents them from solidifying and enables them to easily flush out from the body.
Baking soda is helpful in lowering the excess uric acid from the body. Individuals who have gout usually dissolve ½ tsp of baking soda in water and take multiple times for pain relief. However, patients who are suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this remedy or consult their doctor before trying.
Other tips to relieve gout pain fast
Apart from these home remedies, here are some alternative tips that can help gout sufferers find relief from the pain.
For mild to moderate pain, an ice pack is the ideal solution. Simply take one and apply it to the affected joint for 20 – 30 minutes each day.
Take a lot of rest
It is also a good idea to rest as much as you can until the pain subsides. It is also better to alleviate your foot with pillows so it is higher than your chest. This may relieve swelling and ease the pain associated with gout.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking sufficient amount of water and other fluids can cause the uric acid to easily flush out from the body. It can also help prevent kidney stones from forming which is another drawback of high uric acid. Stay hydrated. In fact, aim for eight to sixteen ounces of fluid in your daily intake.
As tempted, as you may be to have a drink or two to relax the pain, it is important that you avoid the intake of alcohol. Drinks, specifically beer contain high amounts of purines that can raise the uric acid in your blood significantly.
Get a cane
Using a cane can take the pressure away from your foot and ease the joint pain during mild gout attacks.
Stress can increase the flare up. During the attack, it is best to relax as much as possible. Although, you may not feel like going anywhere – try to chill out at home. Invite a friend, watch a movie, listen to music, or read a book – anything to take your mind away from the excruciating pain.
Eat with care
According to health experts, diet plays a major role in the prevention of gout. When diagnosed with high levels or uric acid, it is best to avoid high-purine foods such as shellfish, red meat, gravies, kidney, brains, etc.
Moreover, it is best to increase the intake of foods that are low in purine such as:
When to get help for gout flare-up
It is important that you contact your doctor or visit an emergency facility if:
- This is your first flare up
- You have high fever
- You are experiencing uncontrollable chills
Additionally, it is best to consult your health care practitioner if your symptoms do not improve or get better in 48 hours. Most gout attacks end within a week but if you don’t feel better within a few days, we suggest you talk to your doctor who can prescribe a different treatment plan for your unique condition.
Those who experience gout agree that it is an agonizing experience. However, it is possible to ease and get rid of gout pain fast by following a specific treatment plan. This includes taking medicines on time, taking care of diet, getting rest, and of course following the above-mentioned home remedies.