Drinking plenty of water is one natural gout home remedy that is effective in relieving and preventing gout disease. However, ingesting water isn’t the only way it can be beneficial to gout sufferers. In fact, different hydrotherapy methods involving hot and cold water temperatures for external treatment of gout can also be an excellent way to relieve pain.
Internal water therapy
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to treat gout disease and prevent future attacks. Keeping the body well hydrated is important to every person’s health, but is especially important for those who are prone to gout or suffer from a chronic case.
Drinking plenty of water for gout helps -
• Prevent attacks
• Lubricate joints
• Flush excessive uric acid out of the body
• Prevent kidney stones
• Pass small kidney stones
• Those who are overweight lose weight
Dehydration reduces kidney function, which can lead to an uric acid build up resulting in gout, kidney stones, kidney infection, and even kidney failure in severe cases. Dehydration can occur from the high consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages including coffee, tea and soda. Therefore, should you consume dehydrating beverages, be sure to combat these drinks with water.
To ensure you are obtaining enough water daily for preventing and relieving gout disease symptoms, 12, 8 ounce glasses are recommended daily. Other hydrating drinks you can include in your daily fluid intake are decaffeinated tea and fruit juice. However, make sure that your water consumption is higher than any other beverage.
External water therapy
Hydrotherapy for gout disease can be administered in two ways.
1. Contrast hydrotherapy – Urate crystals in joints can be dissolved during a gout attack by applying hot and cold compresses. This form of hydrotherapy also helps to alleviate inflammation and reduce pain. Contrast hydrotherapy involves applying a hot compress to an affected joint for 3 minutes, removing this compress and immediately applying a cold compress for 30 seconds.
A hot compress can be a heating pad, hot towel or fill a bath, sink or bucket with hot water (between 90 – 95 degrees F.) For a cold compress use ice packs or place ice in a plastic bag. You can also fill a bucket or sink with cold water. Note: Just remember that if you use water, you’ll need to have both the cold and hot water near each other so you can quickly switch from one temperature to the other.
A session of contrast hydrotherapy for gout disease should last for no more than 20 minutes, and it’s best to wait at least an hour before your next treatment. Finally, remember to end this therapy with a cold compress, never hot.
Contrast hydrotherapy should be used during a gout flare up.
2. Standard Hydrotherapy – Standard hydrotherapy involves submerging all or part of the body in water. Water relieves stress from joints as it provides a feeling of weightlessness creating a relaxing sensation. This is due to the fact that water decreases up to 90% of body weight. The buoyancy in combination with warm water is what helps to ease pain and decrease muscle spasms.
One of the best hydrotherapy treatments for gout is to immerse your body, or your affected joint, in a whirlpool tub with hot water (90-95 degrees F), or a tub that has jets. Heat raises the body temperature and the massaging bubbles the jets create dilate blood vessels. This causes circulation to improve and allows blood to carry more nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body. This aids in healing tissues that are tired or damaged.
In addition, the combination of hot water and massage triggers the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers). This helps to relieve pain and ease sore joints.
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