Some home remedies—such as reducing your purine intake, maintaining an ideal weight, and even delicious options like eating cherries every day— may improve a solid gout management plan (which often still includes proper medications).1 However, with some of the options suggested online—like apple cider vinegar, for instance—gout symptoms are likely to continue or worsen over time without additional medical intervention.
What Does Logic Say About Certain Gout Remedies?
While studies are not generally available to confirm or refute the effectiveness of most home remedies, sometimes logic can be your friend in deciding whether or not a particular treatment method is worth a try. An internet search may suggest some or all of the following home gout remedies that don’t usually help:
- Apple cider vinegar – although most sites discuss varying ways this remedy might help your attacks, such as improving the body’s ability to flush excess uric acid through the kidneys, the acids in vinegar are far too weak to be effective in this manner. When it comes to apple cider vinegar, gout symptoms are not likely to improve, unless of course you are using it to add flavor in delicious salads which help you lose weight.
- Baking soda – because of its alkaline nature, baking soda is said to neutralize the uric acid responsible for the inflammation which causes painful effects of gout. However, when baking soda reaches the strong stomach acids, it simply reacts and neutralizes some of the acids in your stomach, producing carbon dioxide in the process. Realistically, baking soda would never make it past your stomach and would therefore be ineffective at treating this disease.
- Celery juice – while celery and its juice are wonderfully healthy foods which may improve your general health in many ways, it’s not likely they will make specific improvements on your gout attacks. If, however, you enjoy celery, it may help you lose weight as well as lower both your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels.
- Pineapple – many fruits are suggested as home cures for gout, but sadly, the vitamin C present in pineapple and other fruit still seems to generate mixed opinions in regards to its ability to increase the excretion of uric acid from the body. While the jury is still out on the effectiveness of vitamin C as a treatment, chances are that the amount present in pineapple is far too low to be effective anyway.
Improvements in Gout Symptoms Likely a Side Effect of Weight Loss
When it comes to home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, gout symptoms are not likely to improve any noticeable amount. That being said, there is no reason to restrict yourself from the healthy foods mentioned above; they may even help you balance your weight, which would certainly help with your symptoms. Some patients are able to achieve a reasonable level of improvement in their disease through a low purine diet (less organ meat, red meat and seafood along with less alcohol, especially beer) and weight control alone, although most do require one or more forms of medication as the disease progresses. However, rapid weight loss can temporarily increase your uric acid levels and make a gout attack worse, so talk with your physician before starting a weight loss plan.
Some Therapies May Improve the Effectiveness of Medications
Perhaps what is closest to the truth is that with remedies like apple cider vinegar gout will not improve unless they are taken in conjunction with a proper medical protocol. It is possible that certain remedies, such as vitamin C therapies, may improve the effectiveness of traditional medications or help prevent the onset of the disease, but, taken alone as a treatment, are simply not enough. Since chronic gout can lead to damaged joints and kidneys, developing a management protocol with your doctor can prevent significant suffering while protecting your body.