Doctors Share Advice on How to Get the Pain of a Gout Attack Under Control
More than 8 million people suffer from recurrent attacks of tender, hot, red, and swollen joints. Among them are a lot of famous actors, athletes, and writers. In fact, Benjamin Franklin missed many meetings that were held to draft the Declaration of Independence because of gout.
So you don’t have to miss out on things, Bright Side collected some tips that can help you ease the pain of a gout attack.
What is gout?
Medically, gout is easy to describe — it’s a joint inflammation (usually, in the big toe) which is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. The pain that the person experiences is excruciating. Take a closer look at your lifestyle, the reason why you have the attacks in the first place could be hiding there.
1. Get rid of excessive weight.
When people are overweight or obese, their body produces more insulin. High levels of insulin slow down the elimination of the uric acid that causes gout. Also, a 2015 study proved that people who are not obese but have high levels of visceral fat are more likely to develop gout than people who have less belly fat. So, losing some weight can help you get the pain under control.
2. Check your family history.
Gout is partially a genetic disease, so if someone in your family had it, be aware that you might get it too. Unfortunately you can’t do anything about this part of the disease except watch yourself closely. You can also be at risk if you:
- are a man between 40 and 50 years old;
- take diuretic medications or cyclosporine;
- have health conditions like untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or heart and kidney disease.
3. Change your diet.
Gout is historically known as the “disease of kings” or the “rich man’s disease.” This is because seafood and red meat (foods that only wealthy people could afford) contain a lot of purines — a group of chemicals whose byproduct is uric acid, after breaking down in the body. Cutting down the consumption of alcohol, especially beer and fructose sweetened drinks will also help you prevent the attacks.
Foods to eat to manage your attacks and pain:
Due to their antioxidant properties, cherries can lower uric acid in the blood. One study conducted states that eating cherries or taking cherry extract 2 days prior to a gout attack lowered the risk of it happening by 35% compared to people who didn’t take anything.
Yes, just water. It makes perfect sense that drinking enough water will help you stay hydrated and will help flush uric acid out of your system, reduce uric acid build-up on your joints, and therefore prevent the attacks.
Another study has proven that ginger, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, can help significantly. You can either take it by mouth or make a paste from it and apply it topically on the affected areas.
Turmeric is another superfood, known for its great health benefits, that can help fight inflammation. It also has some analgesic properties. Another study also proved that curcumin — the active ingredient of turmeric can lower the levels of uric acid in the body.
If you have any advice on how to manage a gout attack, please leave it in the comments! And stay healthy!