Home Remedies to Clear Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that often strikes at night, making it difficult to sleep or move around. It develops when too much uric acid builds up in the body, forming crystals. The crystals are then deposited in the joints, causing severe pain and inflammation. Gout often strikes the big toe, but it can develop in any joint, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. When gout develops, there are several home remedies you can try to make yourself comfortable.

Soaking Baths

If the pain from gout is unbearable, soak your joints in a bath to help ease the pain. Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salts in a tub filled with hot water and soak your affected joints until the water is no longer warm. You can also try dissolving 1/3 cup of ground ginger in a hot bath and soaking for about a half-hour. The ginger will make you sweat, which helps remove some of the uric acid from your body. When you’re done soaking, rinse your skin with clean water to prevent irritation from the ginger.

Water

Something as simple as drinking plenty of water every day can both help clear up an acute gout attack and prevent future flare-ups. The more water you drink, the more urine your body will produce. An increased urine output will help remove some of the excess uric acid from your body. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people prone to gout drink between eight and 16 glasses of fluids each day, with at least half coming from water. Also, avoid or strictly limit your alcohol intake because that can contribute to gout.

Vitamin C

Eating more vitamin C can help lower your uric acid levels, which can help bring gout under control as well, according to the Mayo Clinic. Increase your vitamin C consumption by either taking a supplement or eating more foods rich in the vitamin. Good food sources of vitamin C include strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits such as oranges. If you want to try a vitamin C supplement, be sure to avoid large doses. Megadoses of vitamin C that are greater than 500 milligrams can actually increase your uric acid levels, according to Mayo Clinic.

Gout Diet

Overhauling your diet to limit your intake of substances called purines can also help treat and prevent gout. Purines occur naturally in the body and also in many food sources. Once digested, they can raise your uric acid levels. Foods high in purines include red meat, especially organ meats and game meats, seafood such as scallops and certain types of fish, including herring and mackerel, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people prone to gout limit their intake of animal-based proteins to 4 to 6 oz. a day. Good alternative protein sources include soy, eggs and nut butters.

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.