5 Tips to Ease Gout Flare-ups At Home

Avatar for Andrina Bell By in podiatry on 23/09/2023
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Gout is a form of arthritis that can cause intense, stinging pain in the ankles, knees, and toes. It can also affect the ears, wrists, and small joints in the hands. So what’s the cause of gout? It’s usually the result of high levels of uric acid. Uric acid can accumulate in the joints and form crystals. And when this happens, it could lead to inflammation, pain, and swelling. While there’s no cure for gout, there are things you can do to ease the pain of a gout flare-up. Here are five tips.

1. Take Pain Relievers

Gout flare-ups are unexpected and excruciatingly painful. You never know when or where you’ll experience a gout attack. The flare-ups can last for days, weeks, or even months.

It can happen when you’re sleeping, working, or even sitting on the couch. The pain is so bad that it can wake you up in the middle of the night and make it impossible to fall back asleep.

Fortunately, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can help ease the pain, such as naproxen sodium and ibuprofen. These drugs can help reduce swelling and pain. Or, if you have prescription medication, your doctor may suggest you take colchicine or steroids. Take help from a podiatrist near you on seeing the first signs of a gout flare-up.

Since these drugs may cost a pretty penny, use a prescription discount app like BuzzRx to get affordable prices.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Another thing you can do to ease the pain and discomfort caused by gout is to drink lots of water. Why? Because water helps to flush out the uric acid that’s built up in your body and is causing all the problems in the first place. 

Increasing water consumption can help prevent gout attacks from happening in the first place and help lessen the severity and duration of an attack if you do happen to get one. 

Drink up! And make sure you’re getting enough water every day. Drink at least eight glasses a day and more if you can. 

3. Apply An Ice Pack to the Painful Area

Applying ice to affected joints can help ease gout-related pain and swelling. Why? Because ice constricts blood vessels, which reduces inflammation.

To use this gout pain relief method, wrap a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the painful joint for about 20 minutes. You can do this several times a day as needed. Just be sure not to put ice directly on your skin, as it can cause frostbite.

Ensure that the towel is clean and dry. If you don’t have a clean towel, the ice will cause more pain as it rubs on your skin. Also, keep the area elevated if possible to reduce swelling.

4. Watch Your Diet

When you have gout, there are certain foods that you can’t eat. Foods high in purines, like red meat and seafood, can trigger gout attacks. So can alcohol, sugary drinks, and some fruits and vegetables.

Hence, limit or remove these foods from your diet. Instead, eat more of these foods:

  • Cherries 
  • Low-fat dairy 
  • Whole grains 
  • Vegetables like kale, cabbage, and celery 
  • Nuts like almonds and peanuts 
  • Seeds like flaxseeds 
  • Fish like salmon and tuna 
  • Fruits like bananas, oranges, and pineapple 
  • Olive oil 
  • Green tea  

These foods are rich in nutrients like Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids, which can help reduce inflammation. Also, they are low in purines, so they are unlikely to trigger gout attacks.

Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet. In addition, it’s imperative if you’re taking any medication for gout or have other medical conditions.

5. Elevate the Affected Joints

Elevating the affected joints can help ease the gout discomfort and pain. Why? Because gravity pulls the fluid from the swollen joint. And less fluid in the joint equals less pain.

For example, your toes are experiencing gout flare-ups. Lie down and put a pillow under your feet to raise them above the level of your heart. You could also try sitting in a recliner with your legs up. You can also prop up the affected joint on a few pillows while you watch TV or read a book. 

Just make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on the joint while healing to avoid further swelling, soreness, or injury.

Final Thoughts

Gout flare-ups are painful. There’s no other word to describe the sensation. Plus, they come on suddenly and can last for days or weeks. The pain is intense and can make it difficult to walk or even stand. Even the slightest touch can be unbearable.

While there’s still no cure for this condition, there are ways to manage it and keep flare-ups under control. Follow the tips mentioned in this post to get ahead of the intense pain and discomfort that gout can cause.

Avatar for Andrina Bell

Andrina Bell is a blogger and an undergraduate nursing student. She specializes in writing health-related articles and is currently blogging about her experience as an undergraduate nursing student. In addition, Andrina enjoys spending time with her family and their two dogs when not working.