Home Remedies for Gout: Do They Work?

Quincy AdamGout Lifestyle, Gout Natural Options, Natural Options

Many people who are concerned about the side effects associated with pharmaceutical medications may be interested in alternative treatments for painful gout symptoms. While the list of home remedies for gout includes primarily dietary changes, it’s best to discuss your options with your doctor, as gout left untreated or treated ineffectively tends to worsen over time.

The result can be damage to your joints and kidneys, as uric acid tends to build up and deposit in these locations, especially in cases of chronic gout.

Documented Results Shows Cherry Consumption can be an Effective Gout Treatment

When it comes to home remedies for gout: do they work? This question does not have a definitive answer, as few medical studies have been completed to evaluate the effectiveness of home remedies against gout symptoms either in conjunction with traditional medications or on their own.

One of the few exceptions is the consumption of cherries, cherry juice or cherry extract, which was shown to reduce the risk of future gout attacks by 35%.1 The risk was reduced a full 75% when cherries were eaten in conjunction with regular use of the medication allopurinol.

Eating Purine Rich Foods is Clearly Linked with Gout Attacks

Studies have also been completed showing the clear correlation between a diet high in purines and an increase in gout attacks.2

Foods high in purines are broken down into uric acid during digestion, and excess uric acid is the cause of the inflammation present during attacks of gout. Minimizing or eliminating purine rich foods (such as organ meats, red meats, fatty meats, and many types of seafood) alone can be enough for some people to prevent gout attacks for long periods of time; your doctor may suggest you limit your intake of these foods regardless of the medication protocol you ultimately choose to adopt.

Minimizing Your Intake of Alcohol can help Reduce Gout Symptoms

In a study of the impact of alcoholic beverages on gout, they have been clearly shown to increase the number of gout attacks. While many online sources state that beer is the most significant culprit responsible for triggering gout, all types of alcohol were found guilty. 3

The more alcohol a person with gout consumed, the more likely they were to experience an attack of gout within 24 hours of the consumption. Beyond a doubt, if you are serious about minimizing or eliminating gout symptoms, you’ll want to commit to significantly reducing your intake of all alcoholic beverages.

Studies Are Lacking to Validate the Effectiveness of Many Home Remedies for Gout

The remainder of home remedies for gout touted by many to work are less easily validated, yet based on the number of personal reports claiming their effectiveness, there is likely to be at least a certain degree of improvement in gout symptoms with some if not most of the natural remedies suggested for gout, which include:

  • Adding raw apple cider vinegar to your drinking water and/or eating an apple after every meal. The malic acid present in apples is said to possibly reduce the buildup of uric acid in the body.
  • Eating ginger in your food, drinking it as a tea, or mixing it with water for use as a soak of the affected joint is said to relieve the inflammation responsible for pain.
  • Taking vitamin C supplements and/or squeezing the juice of fresh lemon or lime into water is said to help the body remove excess uric acid as well as relieve inflammation.
  • Increasing your intake of colorful vegetables and removing sugar and sugary drinks from your diet which will, if nothing else, certainly improve your health in general!4

Talk With Your Doctor to Develop an Integrated Treatment Plan

Regardless of which treatment route you feel is best in your situation, it’s always important to discuss any concerns with your doctor, who may be able to help you integrate traditional medical care with one or more home remedies for gout. The available studies show the best results when both pharmaceutical medications and natural treatments are used simultaneously, so if you are serious about protecting your joints and kidneys while living a pain free life, talk with your doctor about all your options.

1 Zhang, Neogi, Chen, Chaisson, Hunter and Choi. “Cherry consumption and decreased risk of recurrent out attacks.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23023818. Accessed April 22, 2016.
2 Zhang, Chen, Choi, Chaisson, Hunter, Niu and Neogi. “Purine-rich foods intake and recurrent gout attacks.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22648933. Accessed April 22, 2016.
3 Zhang, Woods, Chaisson, Neogi, Niu, McAlindon, Hunter. “Alcohol consumption as a trigger of recurrent gout attacks.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16945617. Accessed April 22, 2016.
4 “Sugary drinks, fruit, and increased risk of gout.” http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7639/285. Accessed April 22, 2016.