• Crystals develop on the joints, followed by intense and sudden pain.
• Joints can swell, feel warm and tender, and can’t bear the pressure of touch.
• You won’t be able to move the affected joint much.
• Primarily felt in the feet, specifically the big toe, although it can flare up in the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, or elbows.
• Skin surrounding the joint can turn red or purple, and appears bruised.
• After gout subsides you will have lingering discomfort around the joints and the skin around the joint will peel and feel itchy.
• After extended periods of gout, nodules may develop beneath the skin, near the joints.
• Repeated bouts can also damage your joints and the kidney.
• Fluid sacs cushioning tissues around the elbow or knee may become inflamed.
• Symptoms often follow surgery or an illness.
1. Apple cider vinegar
This common cooking ingredient can raise your body’s alkaline level, thereby reducing gout pain considerably. With its significant acidity, apple cider vinegar is commonly used to treat headaches and stomach acid. The best way to effectively ingest apple cider vinegar is by drinking it in a glass of water. Mix in one teaspoon to one glass of water, and drink this mixture three times a day. To sweeten this bitter drink add some honey, which can also boost your body’s anti-inflammatory response.
2. Activated charcoal
One wouldn’t naturally think of charcoal as a solution for any medical condition, but it seems activated charcoal is perfectly safe and known to absorb uric acid. The best way to use it to prevent gout flare-ups is by soaking in a bath of charcoal two to three times a week. You can add half a cup of charcoal powder to your bath water. When a paste is formed, add more water and soak your affected joint for at least half an hour.
If you don’t enjoy soaking, applying a charcoal paste directly to the skin of the affected joint is an option. You can leave this on for half an hour and then remove with lukewarm water. The alternative solution is to consume activated charcoal tablets. This option does require consultation with your physician.
3. Baking soda
Baking soda is another household item that can be effective in treating gout pain. Baking soda reduces uric acid in the body. In an 8 oz. glass of water, mix in half a teaspoon of baking soda and drink it. You can repeat this several times a day. No more than four teaspoons should be consumed in one day, and if you are over 60 years old, only three teaspoons per day should be consumed in total.
Note: This method is not recommended for anyone suffering from hypertension, as baking soda is known to elevate blood pressure.
Cherries are another one of nature’s treats that can help with gout. They are not only packed with antioxidants but also anthocyanins, which are known to reduce joint inflammation and can substantially reduce gout from flaring up in subsequent attacks. A daily serving of 15 to 20 cherries is recommended. If you want to avoid the high concentration of sugar in the fresh fruit, try drinking a glass of black cherry juice or a cherry juice concentrate daily.
6. Lemon juice
Another way to neutralize excess uric acid in the blood stream, which can provide relief from pain caused by bouts of gout, is with lemon juice. The freshly squeezed juice of a lemon can alkalize the body. Another useful way to consume it is adding a lemon half to a glass of water, as this will be less strong than pure lemon juice. You can also mix the juice of a lemon with half a teaspoon of baking soda. When the mixture stops fizzing, add it to a glass of water and drink it immediately.