Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and then passes through your kidneys into your urine. Sometimes your body either produces too much or excretes too little of this acid. When that happens uric acid can build up forming sharp, needle-like crystals (urate) in a joint or surrounding tissue that causes pain, inflammation and swelling. The cause of intense pain is when inflammation occurs in the joint as white blood cells surround the uric acid crystals. This causes intense pain, heat and redness
Gout occurs more often in men than it does in women, but women are more susceptible after menopause.
Here are some things you can do for immediate pain relief:
You can make a charcoal/flaxseed poultice. You mix 1/2 cup activated powdered charcoal and 3 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed. Add warm water until you create a paste. Put the paste directly on the affected area and cover with a cloth or some plastic. Change the dressing every four hours or leave on over night. Be sure to cover the poultice carefully as charcoal can stain your bedding or clothing. You can also take activated charcoal orally to lower uric acid levels. Take 1/2 teaspoon when you first wake up, at mid-morning, at mid-afternoon and again at bedtime.
You can use a Castor oil pack. Soak a piece of white flannel in warm Castor oil, wring out excess and place over the affected area. You then cover it with plastic wrap and apply heat using a heating pad or hot water bottle. Do this twice daily for about one hour.
Reduce pain by alternating hot and cold applications. Soak the joint in hot water for three minutes and then in cold water for a half minute. Do this about three times,
Use an Epsom salt foot bath. Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salts in a pan or basin of hot water big enough to put your foot in. Soak your foot for about a 1/2 hour. You can also take a whole body bath in Epsom salts. This is especially helpful if the gout pain is in another part of the body. There are usually instructions on the Epsom salts package but you should use about one or two cups.
Any one of these remedies should work to give you some immediate relief, but in order to eliminate gout for good you will need to do some research on how to lower uric acid levels in your body. You should also support your kidneys using supplements, herbs and foods that improve kidney function.
By: Kathy Love
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