Gout is a type of arthritis that develops when uric acid levels are high in the bloodstream which is known as hyperuricemia. Gout typically develops in the toes, knees, wrist, elbows, fingers, heels and ankles. Men are more susceptible to develop gout than women.
Attacks of gout occur when there is already a high level of uric acid in the body and there is also an accumulation of uric acid in the area around a joint. Formation of uric crystals will cause a painful flare-up of gout. The attacks can also be triggered by alcohol, stress, foods and some medications.
Symptoms of gout
- An early sign of gout is pain that is felt in the big toe which is very severe which cause sleep disruption on the affected person.
- The joint feels warm where there is an increase in the temperature of skin on the joint. This is a sign that the body is reacting to the excess of uric acid.
- There is swelling of the joint and difficulty in engaging daily activities.
- When the uric acid or tophi stick together to form deposits that can be visible under the skin and these lumps are very painful.
- Formation of kidney stones caused by uric acid crystals and kidney stones can cause severe pain due to blockage of the flow of urine.
Treatment and home remedies of gout
- Apply cold compress or ice packs on the joints in order to help minimize the inflammation and pain. Apply the cold compress for 20-30 minutes for several times every day.
- Take plenty of rest and elevate the joint in a pillow or other soft object.
- Drink plenty of water since dehydration can increase the uric acid levels in the body. Drinking plenty of water helps stabilize the uric acid to the normal level.
- Soak the affected part of the body in warm water that is mixed with Epsom salts in order to help relax aching muscles and lessen pain. Epsom salt helps improve the condition of the heart and reduce high blood pressure. Soaking in Epsom salt should be done at least once a week. If suffering from severe gout, it should be done at least 2-3 times in a week.
- Eating bananas is also helpful in treating gout. Bananas have high amounts of potassium and convert the uric acid crystals into liquid that can be eliminated through urination. Bananas also contain vitamin C that also helps minimize pain and swelling.
- Using activated charcoal is also helpful in absorbing uric acid crystal in the body. A person suffering from gout should take a charcoal bath at least 2-3 times in a week. Prepare ½ cup of charcoal powder and mix with a few drops of water. Mix until it forms a paste. Put the paste in a tub and put more water and then soak the affected part of the body at least half an hour. This is helpful for gout that affects the ankle joint or the big toe.