As the number of patients with gout continues to rise, it's helpful for pharmacists to know which natural remedies can help relieve their discomfort.
As the number of patients with gout continues to rise, it’s helpful for pharmacists to know which natural remedies can help relieve their discomfort.
As of 2013, approximately 8.3 million individuals in the US (3.9%) have gout pursuant to chronic hyperuricemia, making it the most common inflammatory arthritis. The aging patient population and increasing rates of obesity—which happen to be 2 main risk factors for gout—indicate that the number of patients with gout will likely continue to grow.
Some medications used to treat gout such as probenecid, allopurinol, and febuxostat can cause adverse side effects or exacerbate decreased uric acid clearance. In light of this, here are some alternative remedies that pharmacists can recommend to patients with gout:
1. Avoid Foods with Purine
Gout is caused by hyperuricemia, an uncontrolled metabolic disorder that leads to the deposition of monosodium urate crystals in cell tissue and too much uric acid in the blood.
Uric acid is the metabolic product resulting from the metabolism of purines that are naturally found in many foods such as organ meats like liver from any animal source and several types of fish, including anchovies, sardines, herring, and trout.
2. Drink Gingerroot Tea
Gingerroot has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain associated with all types of arthritis.
Gingerroot tea is just one vehicle to ingest this product, so pharmacists can also advise patients to add ginger to their food.
3. Curb Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol intake is one of the most common risk factors for patients with gout because it interferes with uric acid clearance.
Decreasing alcohol consumption is generally seen as one of the main lifestyle changes that will help alleviate gout pain, so pharmacists should be sure to recommend it to patients.
4. Eat More Berries and Lemons
All berries are naturally filled with antioxidants, which help repair cell damage. Cherries in particular also have anthocyanin and bioflavonoids, which can help alleviate arthritis pain.
Lemons are filled with vitamin C, which is known to help strengthen tissues in the body and neutralize uric acid. Lemonade counts, as long as it contains real lemons.
5. Add Some Baking Soda
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which temporarily helps neutralize the pH balance of an overly acidic stomach. Pharmacists and patients should also consider lifestyle changes that will help reduce the amount of acid in the stomach to begin with.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese is among the trio of top risk factors for gout.
If patients lose weight following an initial attack, then their serum rate levels may normalize without antihyperuricemics. Eating well and exercising are 2 lifestyle changes that promote a healthy weight and normal blood sugar levels; therefore, they should always be recommended to patients.