Home Remedies for Gout
Gout is an extremely painful form of arthritis. Itís caused by a build up of uric acid in the blood stream. This acid forms crystals that get into the fluid around joints, which causes pain and swelling.
There are things that can be done to deal with gout, but a correct diagnosis is required. Once the first flare up has subsided, tests can be done to determine if itís gout or pseudogout. Pseudogout is also a form of arthritis, and the symptoms can be very similar. Unlike gout, it is felt that dietary changes will not help with pseudogout.
Many things can cause a flare up of gout. Red meat, shellfish, beer and certain medications can be to blame, as can an injury. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can affect other joints, particularly in the ankles and knees. People with certain medical conditions may also have an increased risk of gout.
Believe it or not, but weather can affect gout. Cold weather can trigger gout flares, so it becomes important to keep your hands and feet warm when itís cold out.
Some antibiotics, diuretics and aspirin can cause gout or increase the likelihood of a flare up. Being overweight, or going on a crash diet can also cause gout. Age, gender and heredity are also factors. There is some debate as to whether medications for blood pressure, cholesterol and other drugs used to help prevent heart problems can cause gout or a flare up. It is a possibility.
If you are taking a medication that may cause gout, do not stop taking the medication without contacting your doctor. The doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication that make a flare up less likely.
Choosing home remedies for gout is relatively easy if you are otherwise healthy. However, if you have certain conditions or are on some medications, the choices are more limited.
Devilís claw, lovage, buchu, uva ursi and ginger all have side effects that can interfere negatively with many conditions. These include heart disease, diabetes, and blood pressure issues. They also have bad interactions with medications taken for the above, and for anyone on blood thinners.
Another herb Iíve seen listed with natural remedies for gout is called autumn crocus. Taking this herb is a bad idea. While the active principal has been synthesized and is available as a prescription, the herb itself can be deadly. The colchicines in the plant may be at a much higher level than a safe dosage.
Capsicum, cherries, blueberries, chamomile and oats may help ease the symptoms of regular gout with fewer side effects and interactions. When it comes to berries, anything purple, red or blue will help.
Aside from avoiding the meats listed above, some other foods may also trigger a flare up of gout. These include asparagus, beans, peas (any lentil) and mushrooms. Some people claim that you should avoid them completely and others say limited consumption shouldnít cause problems.
Weight loss may help prevent flares as well, but it needs to be done carefully and slowly. Crash diets are much more likely to cause gout than prevent it. If you need to lose a great deal of weight, or have other medical conditions, you should consult your doctor about a diet and exercise plan thatís right for you.
As with all conditions, speak to your doctor or pharmacist before adding any supplement (herbal or vitamin) to your regimen. They will know your medical history and what medicines you are taking and can tell you if it is safe for you to use.
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