Most Effective Gout Treatment Without NSAIDs
When a gout attack arrives, the symptoms tend to come on quickly and furiously. The extreme pain, the swelling, the lack of mobility, and the overall discomfort all start right away. And unfortunately, those symptoms don’t leave as quickly as they come.
Most people experience gout symptoms for 3 to 10 days.
One of the first lines of treatment is often nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs. These are over-the-counter medications like aspirin (example: Bayer), ibuprofen (example: Advil), or naproxen (example: Aleve). There are also prescription NSAIDs like Celebrex.
Why these NSAIDs? Because gout attacks are all about inflammation. Gout is caused when something called urate crystals (made when you have too much uric acid in your body) travel to a joint and create inflammation, and the inflammation then causes all the excruciating symptoms.
So when you squelch the inflammation, your symptoms go away too. And that’s where NSAIDs normally do the trick.
But there are many reasons why people don’t want to (or can’t) take NSAIDs. For example:
- NSAIDs can make both heart attacks and strokes more likely – especially for those with risk factors like heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes
- NSAIDs can worsen stomach issues to the point of creating ulcers and causing bleeding
- People with kidney or liver disease, GERD, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, out-of-control diabetes, and bleeding problems normally cannot take NSAIDs
- Neither can those with NSAID allergies or women who are in the end of their pregnancy
When people in these categories get a gout attack – what are they to do? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to effectively treat your gout attack without having to use an NSAID.
I’m going to go through 7 ways that can effectively help you deal with and treat your uncomfortable symptoms without taking an NSAID. I’m also going to wrap up with some gout prevention tips, so you hopefully never have to deal with this situation again.
7 Ways To Treat Gout Without NSAIDs
Now we get to a mixture of gout treatment diet tips, natural supplements, self-care steps, and other prescription medication options. Using these together in conjunction can help replace the pain relief NSAIDs would normally bring.
1. Take an All-Natural Gout Supplement
The #1 thing you should start is an all-natural gout supplement. There are many natural substances that can improve gout pain, reduce uric acid, and lower inflammation. Here are some top choices to try now:
- VitaCherry® HiActives®: There is plenty of research out there showing how cherries are incredible at lowering uric acid and dropping inflammation – two things you desperately need when you have a gout attack. Taking cherries in a supplement form like this allows you to have a concentrated dose.
- Celery Seed Extract: Not only is celery seed anti-inflammatory in nature, it is also a mild diuretic. This means it can help you excrete some of the uric acid buildup that’s causing the gout attack.
- Chanca Piedra Extract: Chanca piedra has antioxidant powers that can help lower inflammation – plus it can help you prevent a uric acid kidney stone while your body has too much uric acid.
- Hydrangea Extract: Hydrangea extract is an all-round help for anything to do with the kidneys and bladder – plus it lowers inflammation and helps support healthy joints.
Remember – the reason you cannot take NSAIDs probably has to do with another health problem. So call your doctor before you start your all-natural gout treatment to make sure all these supplements are safe for your particular condition.
2. Eat Cherries
We already talked about how taking a cherry supplement is a great choice for relieving gout symptoms. While eating whole cherries isn’t as potent, it is still a great snack for a gout flare-up.
If you get sick of snacking on them plain, here are a few ways I like to incorporate them into other dishes. All of these are simple and quick, which is perfect when you aren’t very mobile in your gout attack:
- Toss a few into a smoothie concoction (I love berries, cherries, half a frozen banana, leafy greens, and almond milk)
- Chop them in half and put them in a salad
Keep Reading: Taking Cherries and VitaCherry® HiActives® For Gout
3. Ice It
Ice becomes your best friend – it will help numb the pain as well as reduce the inflammation.
Take your ice pack and wrap it in a washcloth or pillowcase because you don’t want that direct ice to skin contact. Rest it on the inflamed joint for about 20 minutes (don’t go too long, or you could actually get frostbite).
Then repeat this process multiple times throughout the day for each day that you are feeling your gout symptoms.
4. Rest It
The goal should be to rest up as much as you can through your gout attack. This helps in two ways:
- Our bodies need rest in general whenever we are fighting off any sort of sickness or inflammation
- The joint that is currently inflamed should not really have much movement or pressure
So give yourself a couple days to sit and lie down as much as possible. Watching a new comedy series or reading an engrossing thriller can be a great way to distract your brain from the pain as you rest.
Also elevate whatever joint is affected as much as possible. If it’s your big toe (which it probably is), aim to elevate your foot higher than your chest. This will help reduce the swelling.
And if you do have to move around, use a cane, walker, or crutch to prevent any pressure.
5. Keep Bare Skin
When your joint is inflamed from a gout attack, it helps to not have any sort of material on it at all. So if you don’t have to put clothing on around the inflamed joint, leave it off.
But if you get cold, it’s time to get creative. Here are a few ways to stay warm without putting fabric on your joint with gout:
- Since most gout attacks are in the big toe, a common solution is to cut a hole in your sock big enough to allow your big toe to be uncovered while the rest of your foot is covered
- You can do this same idea with a mitten for your hand
- If it’s your knee, wear shorts and long socks
- If it’s your ankle, wear no-show socks and roll up your pant leg
- And so on
6. Drink Plenty of Water
The more liquids you consume, the more uric acid will be flushed from your body and the quicker your symptoms can dissipate.
Many people suggest 8- 8 oz. cups of water a day. But that should really be your starting point. You may need up to 16 cups. Let your urine be your guide. If it’s clear or very, very light yellow, you’re drinking enough.
On the flip side, make sure to avoid any alcohol during this time. Alcohol can actually increase the buildup of uric acid in the body.
7. Try Steroids or Gout Drugs
If your goal for not using NSAIDs is to stay entirely all-natural in your gout treatment, this last option is not for you.
But if you simply cannot take NSAIDs for one reason or another and would be open to trying different prescription medications that could ease your gout pain, listen up.
There are two non-NSAID prescription medications that can be taken to treat your gout symptoms:
- Steroids like prednisone can ease your gout symptoms quickly
- There are anti-gout drugs that can help a gout attack when taken early on after first feeling your symptoms, so try to get into your doctor as soon as you can
Talk to your doctor to see if either of these options are safe choices for you.
Focus On Prevention
For those who cannot rely on NSAIDs to calm their pain during a gout attack, you must focus on lifestyle and diet changes that will decrease your odds of ever getting a gout attack again. Top tips include:
- Reduce Purines: Purines turn into uric acid. So if you are prone to gout attacks, you need to reduce your intake. Meat and fish are two of the top things to either avoid or greatly reduce.
- Reduce Alcohol: As I already mentioned, alcohol makes it harder for the body to eliminate uric acid so either eliminate or greatly reduce your intake.
- Lose Weight: Being overweight and obese is one of the main risk factors for gout. A healthy diet and regular exercise regimen is essential.
- Take Medications: Talk to your doctor to see if you need to take a gout prevention medication. These can help your body either produce less uric acid or better get rid of the uric acid that’s already there.
- Drink Up Always: Uric acid builds up when it’s not getting excreted from your body through urine. If you stay properly hydrated every single day, you are greatly decreasing the risks of concentrated uric acid.
Following these steps very closely can make sure you don’t have to deal with the “no NSAID during a gout attack” conundrum.
Treating Your Gout Without NSAIDs
Yes, NSAIDs may make gout treatment a little more bearable, and it is unfortunate when you cannot rely on them. But they are certainly not your only option for feeling better. As you can see, there are quite a few ways to effectively treat a gout attack without taking NSAIDs.
Call your doctor and talk about non-NSAID medications, start your lifestyle and diet changes, and get on your all-natural uric acid cleanse!