What Is Gout and What Can I Do About It?

Updated on February 13, 2017
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Thomas is an award-winning chef with 40+ years of experience. He loves to cook and share recipes.

Here you can see a person with bad gout in the feet. Notice how the feet are swollen. The condition is really bad in the big toe.
Here you can see a person with bad gout in the feet. Notice how the feet are swollen. The condition is really bad in the big toe.

Gout is a medical condition that quite often causes acute inflammatory arthritis, which in turn causes the feet and legs to swell. If it is in the big toe or big toes, as in the photo above, it is called podagra. But that is just another name for gout. You get red tender hot joints with gout, and your feet and legs will swell in most cases. It involves one or both of the big toes in about 50 percent of all cases.

Gout usually occurs in men, but it can also occur in women, especially those who are post-menopausal or who drank large amounts of alcohol. It can be extremely painful, and in some cases it is very painful to walk.

Natural Cures for Gout Include:

  1. Cherries.
  2. Vegetable juice or vegetable juice smoothies.
  3. Apples, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Bananas.
  5. Soaking your feet in ginger water.
  6. An all fruit and vegetable diet.
  7. Vitamin C.
  8. Dairy products.
  9. Maintaining your diet and weight.

Gout was once thought of as the rich man's disease.

Gout was once known as the rich man's disease because of the strong connection with diet. But today it is occurring in more and more people.

Gout is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood and the uric acid crystallizes and is deposited in joints, tendons, and the surrounding areas and it can be one of the most painful conditions you can have. Joint pain usually increases in a two to four hour period and it most often happens at night. This happens because your bodies temperature is lower at night.

Dietary causes account for about 12% of all cases and it usually comes from an overconsumption of alcohol, meat, seafood, and fructose sweetened drinks. It appears that the consumption of coffee, dairy products, vitamin C, and improved physical fitness can help to cure and prevent gout. This is believed to be because these things can also help with insulin resistance.

What Is Hyperuricemia?

Hyperuricemia is an increased level of uric acid in the blood. And if a person presents with a severely swollen and painful big toe the doctor usually diagnoses gout and treats accordingly. Hyperuricemia is caused by obesity, insulin resistance, overuse of diuretics, hypertension, diet, and overindulgence with alcoholic beverages.

Both life style changes and medication can reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood. it has been shown in laboratory studies that consuming 1500 mg of vitamin C a day can reduce the risk of gout by 45%. You should also avoid fructose soft drinks. Drinking coffee also seems to reduce your risk. Remember it's coffee, not tea.

If you know or suspect you have gout, go see a doctor.

If you know or suspect you have gout, the best thing you can do is to go to your doctor or medical clinic. Tell the doctor what you suspect the problem to be and be sure the doctor examines your feet and legs. If you have diabetes it's very important that you go to the doctor if you suspect gout. People with diabetes who have delayed going to the doctor with gout have lost toes, feet, and limbs. So always use care and see a doctor.

What I Did for My Gout Problems

If your big toe swells or you see swelling or redness at your joints you may indeed have gout. If you have the associated pain, you're going to want medical help with your condition. Believe me gout can be quite painful. I've had it a couple of times so bad I could barely walk.

What helped me was to lose weight and I started to drink a lot of water when I had hardly drank any water at all before. I also cut back on meat and started to eat a lot of vegetables. As I lost weight I started to walk at a local track every day it's not raining. Increasing my water intake and the walking has helped me to lose 52 pounds. I feel a lot better and I haven't had any recent bouts of gout.

Here's a photo of another bad case of the gout.
Here's a photo of another bad case of the gout.

Natural Cures for Gout

1. Cherries

The cherry is considered an effective treatment for gout. You should consume about fifteen to twenty cherries as soon as you wake up in the morning. You can also eat some at bedtime. Anthocyanins which is an antioxidant in cherries is what helps to reduce the inflammation and help you with your gout problems. I have used cherries and found them to be an effective treatment. It can be either sweet or sour cherries. When fresh ones are in the supermarket use those.Be sure to drink the juice that was in the can over the cherries.

2. Vegetable Juice or Vegetable Juice Smoothies

You can use cucumber, carrot, or beet juice and it will be really effective in helping you with your gout. I like to make smoothies out of all three juices and drink them quite often especially in the summertime when I have fresh vegetables. Vegetable juice is also great for weight loss. If you don't have one, buy a blender. You can make fruit and vegetable juices with them and with juice and crushed ice you can have a great healthy smoothie.

3. Apples, Apple Juice, and Apple Cider Vinegar

You know the old saying was an apple a day could keep the doctor away. Well it's true. I really believe the more apples you eat the healthier you will be. In case you're wondering it is the malic acid which is believed to neutralize uric acid. Natural applesauce will also work great. Sprinkle your applesauce with cinnamon and you'll also be helping to stabilize your blood sugar. I love apple juice and I quite often have it as a bedtime snack. I like to mix it with crushed ice in the blender for a delightful smoothie. I often add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to my apple juice smoothie and I know it's been an effective treatment for stabilizing my blood sugar.

4. Bananas

Bananas are the monkey's favorite food and there is a real reason for this. Bananas are effective for gout and weight loss. They are also a great source of potassium. You can make a delicious banana smoothie with a banana, smooth peanut butter, and crushed ice.

5. Soak Your Feet In Ginger Water

You can prepare a solution of one third cup of ground ginger in three gallons of water. Soak your feet in it for thirty minutes. It will cause your feet to sweat and uric acid will come out of your body reducing the amount of uric acid in your body. After your ginger foot bath be sure to wash your feet well with soap and warm water because ginger can cause irritation if it dries on your feet. You can use the same ginger water two or three times to get relief. After two to three times discard the water and start over with fresh ginger.

You can also make ginger tea or add powdered or fine ground ginger to tea and drink it. If you're having a bad bout with gout have an eight-ounce glass of ginger tea at bedtime and again when you wake up in the morning.

6. An All Fruit and Vegetable Diet

Try going on an all fruit or vegetable diet for at least three days to greatly improve your gout problems. If you can stick to it for three days you should also drop a few pounds. I often do a vegetable and fruit diet for three days, go off of it for two days and then go back on it for three days. Learn to eat as many of your vegetables as you can steamed. Steamed vegetables are very good for you. You can also make vegetable or fruit smoothies with your blender and crushed ice. If you need protein add smooth peanut butter to your smoothie. Try them and I bet you'll think they are delicious.

7. Vitamin C

People who take at least 1500 mg of vitamin C a day greatly improve their condition and in 45% of all cases the gout never returns. I drink two vitamin C drinks a day with 1000 mg of vitamin C in each drink. I know it works for me. However if you have kidney stones now or in the past ask your doctor before you start taking vitamin C.

8. Dairy Products

You can drink two glasses of milk daily and help your gout problem. Yogurt is also really effective in relieving gout and reducing uric acid in your body. For best results, you should eat yogurt at least every other day.

9. Manage Your Diet and Weight

I have found that the Cabbage Soup Diet is an effective way of helping your gout and you can really drop some pounds in a hurry with the Cabbage Soup Diet. I have lost a lot of my weight with this diet and I have kept it off by walking. I try to walk at a local walking track on any day when it's not raining. As you lose weight and keep it off you'll find yourself feeling healthier and you really can walk yourself thin if you're determined and stick to it. I know I have.

This information is offered for information purposes only.

I am offering this information for information purposes only. I'm not in any way trying to give you medical advice. You should do your own research and find out everything you can about natural cures for any medical condition, illness, or disease. I have tried several of the above methods and found them effective in treating my gout condition. But you should discuss any thing you plan to do with your doctor before you do it.

Thank you for reading my article on gout and I hope you find it helpful. I hope you have a nice day and I hope you found information here that can help you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Please Post Your Comments About Gout Now. And Thanks For Reading.

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    • profile image

      J.B Griffin 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for this informative article about gout. I was interested in what foods to eat and which ones to avoid. This article was very helpful. Thank you. Gout is indeed a very painful condition on the big toes and feet.

    • profile image

      Susan Cogan 

      2 years ago

      Mine is different it is in my right arm and hand I have had it for almost 1 year am on med from dr. but would like to get of prednisone it is a stirude and I don not want to be on that for a long time.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am suffering from gouty arthritis since 8 years. It used to get sudden attacks of severe pain in the joints, more commonly in the big toe. The pain used to be unbearable. My doctor advised me to use Colchicine immediately after the first sign of pain and swelling in the joint. After I started using this medicine, the symptoms are under control.



    • myawn profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      I have gout the dr gave me meds and I watch my diet I lost 30 pounds I need to lose 40 more. I drink plenty of water and juice. So metimes my feet and toes hurt and I can barely walk.Thanks for the informative hub!

    • Anne Burlinson profile image

      Anne Burlinson 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Well done on your achievements and thank you for sharing this information! Voted up :)

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      8 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Your very welcome Don and I appreciate your kind words. Luckily I haven't had a bout with gout now in about five years. I had a kidney disease as a child and was told that was the reason for a lot of my gout problems. About five years ago I went to a nutritionist and she basically told me the same information about foods that just did the Hub on. I have tried to do exactly what she said and I added walking when I was able. I've lost over 50 pounds most of it through walking and switching to a diet high in vegetables and fruits.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Great Hub crazyhorseghost.

      I suffer from gout often,but mine has a very specific cause. I have a Kidney transplant, and the drugs I take for anti-rejection eventually impede the Kidneys capability to process Uric Acid efficiently.

      Thus, it builds up in the transplant patients tissues, and attacks skeletal joints, specifically in the feet.

      It is quite painful as you explained, and some days i can hardly walk at all.

      I take many of the natural items that you mention, and I find that my gout is the worst when I fall off of my diet and party a little.

      Anyway, this is a great Hub and you reminded me of some foods that I haven't taken in a long time, and will go back to.

      Thanks for a good Hub.


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