Water and Gout

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, in excruciating pain from a throbbing big toe. This could be a sign of your first gout attack.

Gout is a painful disease that is caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the bloodstream, ending up in the joints of the body. It is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, and heat/inflammation as well as stiffness in a joint or joints. Gout is also a form of arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, and is most common in men. Gout was once thought of as a disease that only affected the rich and famous, as drinking lots of alcohol and eating rich foods are a cause to the disease. But we know in the current society in which getting nutritious food and variety of alcohols are more and more convenient, the gout not just for the stars!


How gout happens is this: The body produces too much uric acid, or does not excrete it with the urine. The excess uric acid may not be able to be removed by the kidneys, which then builds up and may form crystals in bloodstream, which find their way to their final destination- the joints. Causes of crystal formation include drinking too much alcohol, taking medications that may increase the uric acid concentration, eating foods that are high in purines (liver, peas, beans) and being overweight. Experts say that while alcohol is a key factor, metabolism has more to do with it, so weight is important to take into consideration.

Gout begins with an attack, usually in the middle of the night, with extreme swelling and throbbing in the joints, and most commonly in the big toe. Gout is in fact a recurring disease. People who have gout may have a few very painful attacks in one or two joints, usually the big toe, foot, ankle, or knee joints. The attack can last a few days or as long as several weeks, and then the symptoms can totally disappear, not to return for months or years. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious forms of arthritis.

Natural Home Remedies

Water is one of the best home remedies for gout. For starters, since water can serve as a joint lubricant, one who is at risk for gout should be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Also, being that gout can be caused by frequent alcohol intake, it can leave people dehydrated. Beer is the worst type of alcohol to drink in terms of getting gout, as in contains more purines than any other alcoholic beverage.

Water will help dilute uric acid, but the real benefit is in its ability to help excrete the acid. Water makes it easier for the kidneys to excrete uric acid and makes it less likely that it will form crystals, thus hopefully preventing the next gout attack. Dehydration can also lead to kidney infections, stones, and even failure. All this can create that excess uric acid that causes gout in the first place. In addition, people on high protein diets are actually consuming more meat, which means they are at risk for consuming uric acid found in their food source. Drinking more water can flush the body with these harmful toxins. Drinking more water can also help someone overweight lose excess weight, or maintain proper weight.

Gout Friendly Foods

Cherries – Sweet or sour, as long as it is fresh! Research shows that cherries have an antioxidant called anthocyanins that help relieve inflammation as well as reduce the flare-ups of gout attacks. Consume about 15 cherries a day, preferably as soon as you wake up.

Apples – The malic acid found in apples is believed to neutralize the uric acid and afford relief to gout sufferers.

Mustard – For pain relief, prepare a paste by mixing one part whole wheat powder and one part mustard powder with water. Apply this paste on the aching body part and leave overnight for effective gout pain relief.

Ginger – If you suffer gout in the toes, mix water and 1/3 cup of ground ginger. Soak the feet in this mixture for 30 minutes which will cause sweating and therefore eliminate uric acid. It is important to bathe afterward, as ginger could cause skin irritation once the skin dries.

There are endless home remedies out there. We are not all hardwired the same way, so don’t give up and continue trying several remedies until you find one that works for you. Several factors beyond dieting influence the course of gout flare-ups; such as the level of emotional distress, including your attitude. Various mind and body techniques such as yoga or meditation can ease the mind which also has a beneficial effect on the body. So stay positive folks!

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