Home Remedies for Gout in Knees

Gout develops when too much uric acid builds up in the body, forming crystals. These crystals then form deposits in the joints, causing severe pain and inflammation which makes it difficult to walk or even sleep. Gout most often develops in the big toe or other foot joints, but it can develop in any joint, including the knees, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. If you want to treat the condition without resorting to drugs, there are some home remedies you can try.

Soaking Baths

If your knees are swollen and painful because of gout, soak in a tub full of hot water. For additional relief, try dissolving 1/3 cup of ground ginger in the water. The ginger will make you sweat, which helps eliminate the excess uric acid from your body. Soak for about 30 minutes, and then rinse your skin with clean water so the ginger does not cause irritation. Another idea for a soaking bath is dissolving 2 cups of Epsom salt in a bath of hot water; simply soak until the water is no longer warm.

Water

It’s always important to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. When you have gout, though, drinking fluids can help ease some of the discomfort. The more water and other fluids you drink, the more urine your body will produce. The extra urine output will help rid your body of the excess uric acid, which is what causes gout. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people with gout drink between eight and 16 glasses of fluids each day, with at least half being water. People with gout should also avoid or strictly limit alcohol, which can worsen gout.

Gout Diet

Changing your diet to limit your intake of animal proteins can also help treat and prevent gout. Animal proteins contain substances called purines, which are also naturally found in the human body. Too many purines can increase your risk of gout or make a gout attack worse. Some meat products are especially high in purines, including red meat, especially organ meats and game meats; seafood such as scallops, shrimp and lobster; and certain types of fish, including tuna, herring and mackerel, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people prone to gout or suffering from gout limit their animal protein intake to between 4 and 6 oz. each day. Other good protein sources include eggs and plant-based products such as soy, nuts and nut butters.

Cherries

Cherries have been touted as a home remedy for gout because they can help lower uric acid levels. To be effective in treating the condition, they have to be eaten regularly. Eat at least a dozen cherries or drink a glass of cherry juice each day. Also try other dark-colored berries, such as blackberries or blueberries.

Vitamin C

Increased vitamin C intake also has been associated with lower uric acid levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. Increasing your intake by eating fruits and vegetables rich in the vitamin or taking a supplement can be used as a home remedy to treat and prevent gout. Good food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli. If you decide to use a vitamin C supplement, be sure to avoid mega doses in excess of 500 milligrams a day because too much of it can actually increase your uric acid level.

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for “The Daily Southtown” and “The Naperville Sun” in suburban Chicago.