Gout occurs from accumulating too much uric acid and urate crystal deposits in the joints of a toe, foot or ankle. If you have gout or gouty arthritis of the foot or ankle, you experience pain, swelling and difficulty walking. Fortunately, there are all-natural methods to manage your symptoms and prevent a future flare-up. Upon getting a diagnosis from your physician or podiatrist, you may be given instructions on home treatment. For your general knowledge, here are a few golden rules you should be following to help you feel better naturally:
1. DO Maintain a Healthy Weight
You should realize that being overweight may increase the risk of a gout flare-up. This may be due in part of the pressure that is placed on your ankle and foot joints. If you are overweight, try to lose the extra weight in a safe manner. Ask your doctor for recommendations of a healthy diet and exercise plan to lose the extra weight. If you wish to do so in a natural way, you should avoid the use of weight loss pills or treatments that include chemicals and drugs.
2. DON'T Drink Alcohol During a Gout Attack
Did you know that alcohol contains crystalline compounds known as purines, and these are known to produce uric acid? If you are prone to gouty arthritis, you need to limit your alcohol consumption and drink only in moderation. During a flare-up of gout, it is best to refrain from consuming alcohol in any amount.
3. DO Be Aware of Purines in Food
Try to limit the amount of beef and organ meat you eat, as these do contain purines. Mushrooms and lentils also contain purines, so limit your intake of these as well. Also, some seafood such as scallops and mackerel also contain these compounds, and these should be avoided during a gout flare-up.
4. DON'T Become Dehydrated
Increasing your water intake may help flush excess uric acid from your body. Also, failing to stay hydrated by increase the level of uric acid in your bloodstream, leading to more discomfort and inflammation. Even if you don't feel particularly thirsty, drink several glasses of water a day.
5. DO Reduce Your Inflammation Naturally
If you are experiencing a gout attack with redness, pain and swelling, you need to reduce the inflammation. Although your doctor or podiatrist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, this may cause side effects for some individuals. For those who have digestive issues or bleeding ulcers, this type of medication may not be recommended. In such a case, it may be best to try a natural alternative to drugs that may cause side effects.
What are some natural inflammation-fighting remedies for easing your gout? For one thing, you might want to consider an anti-inflammatory diet. For example, increase your red and purple fruit intake, as many fruits tend to have anti-inflammatory properties. Adding tart cherries and berries to your diet may help, so have your fill. A good alternative to cherries would be tart cherry juice.
6. Don't Heat It, Ice It Instead
Although a warm or hot soak may seem comforting, heat should be avoided when pain and redness is present, as this may increase your inflammation. Instead, try using an ice pack on your painful joints. Wrap the ice in a towel so it does not come in direct contact with your skin, and use the application for up to 20 minutes at a time. You may do this a few times throughout the day until the inflammation subsides.
If your gout symptoms don't improve after trying the above techniques, talk to services like Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine for further assistance.