What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Gout? - K Health (2022)

Gout is a painful type of arthritis that feels similar to the pain experienced with rheumatoid arthritis, as both diseases cause inflammation in the joints.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood.

When the body cannot get rid of the excess uric acid, that buildup ends up accumulating as crystals in a joint, such as the big toe.

This creates swelling, redness, warmth, and severe joint pain in the affected area.

This condition has historically been seen as a disease that only affects old, wealthy men.

But in fact, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis.

About 4% of Americans—more than 8 million people—suffer from gout.

Since gout can be caused by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, anyone can get gout—even if they eat what would typically be deemed a healthy diet.

Attacks and flare-ups of the condition can be painful.

While there is no cure for gout, there are things you can do to get relief from the pain and inflammation.

In this article, I’ll talk about ways to get fast relief from a gout attack, treatment options for these flare-ups, and warning signs that an attack may be coming.

I’ll also tell you when it’s best to talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider about gout symptoms.

How to Get Fast Relief From Gout Attacks

Gout pain can be debilitating, and can prevent you from performing routine activities—even walking or standing can hurt.

That’s because many attacks start at the base of the big toe.

Pain and inflammation in this region can make walking or standing for long periods of time excruciating.

There are a few home remedies that may provide quick relief for a gout flare-up.

But if your pain is severe, sudden, or worsening, contact a healthcare professional before attempting any remedies at home.

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(Video) Best & Worst Foods to Eat with Gout | Reduce Risk of Gout Attacks and Hyperuricemia

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve gout pain and swelling.

It may take some time for the relief to kick in—anywhere up to 24 hours.

Topical rubs containing capsaicin or other soothing ingredients (like aspercreme, Icy Hot, etc.) can help with both pain and inflammation when applied on the swollen areas.

Apply ice to the affected joints

One of the easiest natural ways to reduce inflammation in a gout attack is by applying ice to the affected area.

Ice may also help numb the pain in the affected area.

Drink plenty of water

This won’t likely provide immediate relief, but inadequate hydration is known to contribute towards the creation of urate crystals.

Drinking water may flush uric acid crystals out of your system.

Preliminary research suggests that adequate water consumption during the 24-hour period before a gout flare can decrease recurrent gout attacks.

Prescription Treatments

If your gout pain is unbearable even with the recommended over-the-counter treatments, prescription anti-inflammatories like Indomethacin and Colchicine may be needed.

A short course of a corticosteroid like prednisone or methylprednisolone can also be helpful.

While long-term use of corticosteroids can cause some problematic side effects and health issues, short-term use is generally considered safe.

If your gout symptoms are severe and not improving with over-the-counter and home remedies, speak with a doctor or healthcare provider to see if a prescription treatment may be helpful.

Treatment for Chronic Gout

If you have chronic gout, you may need more than quick relief.

You’ll also likely need a long-term treatment plan to prevent future attacks.

Below are a few treatment options that your doctor may recommend.

Medications for gout

Usually, doctors will wait until a gout attack subsides before starting prescription medications.

This is because these drugs are designed to lower uric acid levels.

Sometimes that can cause existing crystals surrounding the joints to shift, exacerbating the flare-up.

(Video) How to Cure a Gout Attack (what works for me)

Once a flare-up has ended, your prescribed medication treatment plan can prevent future gout attacks.

Below are a few common medications for gout:

MedicationBrand NamesFormHow It Works
AllopurinolAloprim, Zyloprim, LopurinPillReduces how much uric acid the body produces
FebuxostatUloricPillReduces how much uric acid the body produces
ProbenecidProbalanPillActs on the kidneys to help the body eliminate uric acid via the urine. May be combined with Febuxostat.
PegloticaseKrystexxaIntravenous (IV) infusionReduces uric acid quickly with great intensity. Used when standard medications are unable to lower uric acid levels.

Diet changes

Before modern medicine, doctors assumed dietary choices were to blame for gout attacks.

They weren’t wrong: A diet that’s high in purines—chemicals that are metabolized into uric acid—can cause gout flares.

Historically, gout was referred to as “the disease of kings” because a heavy purine diet一alcohol, organ meats, sugar一could only be afforded by the wealthy.

Common high-purine foods you may want to avoid if you have gout include:

  • High fructose corn syrup: This includes snacks and sugary drinks like soft drinks.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Consuming too much alcohol is dehydrating for the body and can increase uric acid levels in the body.
  • Organ meats: Meats like liver and kidney are purine-rich foods that should be avoided.
  • Red meat: Serving sizes of red meat should be limited.

Following a diet low in purines can help prevent gout flares.

If you’re unsure of what you should and shouldn’t eat, discuss meal plan options with your doctor or a dietitian.

Lifestyle changes

Experts recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes of exercise per week.

This can include low-impact activities that are easy on the joints, like walking, swimming, or biking.

Engaging in regular physical activity, along with eating a healthy diet, can help you lose weight.

Since obesity is a risk factor for gout, this could also reduce your risk of flare-ups.

Warning Signs of a Gout Flare-Up

Gout flare-ups tend to come on suddenly.

A flare-up will usually occur in one localized area—usually the big toe, but it can also affect other joints like the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, or fingers.

Some symptoms you may experience include:

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of mobility

When it comes to gout prevention, get to know your family’s general medical history.

Genetics plays a big role in your chances of developing gout, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with your family history of gout.

Other risk factors include:

  • Sex: Men are three times more likely than women to develop gout.
  • Age: Men over 40 and post-menopausal women are more likely to develop gout.
  • Weight: People who are obese are at a greater risk of developing gout.
  • Medical conditions: People with high blood pressure, diabetes, insulin resistance, or heart and kidney diseases are at a greater risk of developing gout.

If you have a family history of gout or fall into multiple risk factor groups, discuss prevention with your doctor.

A low-purine diet is typically recommended to help keep uric acid levels in your body low.

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(Video) Gout – A Thorough Walkthrough of Treatment Options, Home Remedies, Success Rates

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing severe gout symptoms, seek care immediately.

Gout triggers and gout attacks are different for everyone, so a physician will be able to tailor a plan of treatment and prevention that works best for you.

How K Health Can Help

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Frequently Asked Questions

Water. Drinking plenty of water is best if you have gout. Other beverages recommended for gout patients include milk, tart cherry juice, and coffee—all in moderation.

Does walking on gout foot make it worse?

If you have a current flare-up, it is best to stay off the affected foot to avoid further trauma to the joints. However, once a flare-up subsidies, you should still be able to participate in low-impact activities like walking or swimming. Regular physical activity is encouraged for your health and gout prevention.

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What is the best thing for gout in the big toe?

If you have a gout flare-up on the big toe, rest and elevate your foot. You can try home remedies such as applying ice, taking over-the-counter pain medications, and drinking lots of water to help provide relief. If the pain is severe or worsening, contact your doctor.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

FAQs

What is the fastest way to flush gout? ›

Drinking water can help flush the uric acid crystals that cause gout out of your system. “A well-hydrated patient should drink enough to urinate every two to three hours,” says Dr. Shakouri.

What is the number one cure for gout? ›

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually recommended as the first treatment for gout. They work by reducing pain and inflammation during an attack. NSAIDs used to treat gout include naproxen, diclofenac and etoricoxib.

How do you flush out gout? ›

Drink at least 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of non-alcoholic fluids daily, especially if you have had kidney stones. This will help flush the uric acid crystals out of your body.

How can I fix gout permanently? ›

There is no cure for gout, and the condition can worsen over time without proper treatment. Treatments focus on reducing symptom severity during a flare-up and preventing future flare-ups. Doctors typically aim to reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood, which contributes to gout symptoms.

What kills uric acid in the body? ›

About allopurinol

Allopurinol is a medicine used to lower levels of uric acid in your blood. If you produce too much uric acid or your kidneys do not filter enough out, it can build up and cause tiny, sharp crystals to form in and around your joints. Allopurinol is used to treat gout and kidney stones.

Does vinegar stop gout? ›

There is no proof that consuming or using apple cider vinegar can help prevent or treat gout. However, certain chemicals in apple cider vinegar, namely acetic acid, may lower the risk of developing conditions that can increase the likelihood of gout, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Which fruit is best for uric acid? ›

Citrus fruits

Fruits like oranges and lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and citric acid. Including these foods can help you maintain healthy uric acid levels in the body, since they can efficiently flush out the excess.

Is lemon water good for gout? ›

The studies concluded that lemons and lemon juice might be a useful remedy to help treat gout, along with medications and other dietary changes. Lemon juice may also help prevent gout in people with high uric acid levels.

What vitamins to avoid if you have gout? ›

Avoid taking extra niacin and vitamin A. Both may play a role in gout.

What gives immediate relief from gout? ›

Treating Gout At Home

For some people an over the counter anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen may be helpful but read the package insert carefully or discuss with the pharmacist. Ice the affected area and elevate the joint. If the pain is severe and doesn't diminish, it's recommended to seek medical advice.

Can gout clear up overnight? ›

An episode of gout usually lasts for about 3 days with treatment and up to 14 days without treatment. If left untreated, you're more likely to have new episodes more frequently, and it can lead to worsening pain and even joint damage. During an episode of gout, you'll experience intense joint pain.

How long does it take to flush gout out? ›

It can take up to 2 years of daily medications to completely clear the body of crystals, and then further attacks of gout and joint damage are unlikely.

Does apple cider vinegar help cure gout? ›

There is no proof that consuming or using apple cider vinegar can help prevent or treat gout. However, certain chemicals in apple cider vinegar, namely acetic acid, may lower the risk of developing conditions that can increase the likelihood of gout, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Is lemon good for uric acid? ›

Lemon juice may help balance uric acid levels because it helps make the body more alkaline. This means it slightly raises the pH level of blood and other fluids. Lemon juice also makes your urine more alkaline.

Videos

1. Gout Attacking Your Big Toe? These Home Remedies Can Help!
(Dr. Andrew Schneider)
2. Gout Treatment: How to Relieve Gout Attack
(Physio Explain)
3. The BEST Video About Gout Ever Made
(Bob & Brad)
4. Uric Acid: A KEY Cause of Weight Gain, Diabetes, Heart Disease & Dementia (Dr. David Perlmutter)
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5. GOUT FOODS TO AVOID - BEST DIET FOR PEOPLE WITH GOUT
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6. Gout Diet Dos & Don'ts
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