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Pain Management

No More Gout Flare-Ups — 3 Natural Tips That Are Linked to Fewer Symptoms

Don't let it derail your autumn fun.

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Set aside worries that the searing pain of gout — the most common type of inflammatory arthritis — will derail your autumn fun. These tricks dissolve the uric acid crystals that can painfully lodge in joints, letting you sidestep the gout flare-ups that skyrocket in women after menopause.

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Snack on tart cherries.

Doing so may cut your risk of a gout attack, Boston University scientists say. In their 2012 study, those who are cherries over the course of two days were 35 percent less likely to experience gout attacks.

Best of all, it doesn’t matter whether you get them fresh from the farmers market, nibble on dried cherries, sip tart cherry juice, or add a frozen handful to a smoothie. Scientists credit compounds called anthocyanins with easing inflammation and blocking future attacks.

Already on gout meds? The same research found that folks taking the prescription drug allopurinol who also ate 10 cherries daily reduced their risk of a future flare-up by 75 percent — significantly better results than meds alone.

Note: 2020 research from the journal of Rheumatology found that tart cherry concentrate didn’t have any positive effects on gout patients. More research is needed to support the possible benefits of tart cherries.

Drink ginger lemonade.

Aah…there’s nothing like relaxing with a cool glass of lemonade, no matter the time of year. And it turns out adding sliced ginger to the classic summer sipper is possibly one of the best ways to block gout flare-ups. A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, a BMJ journal, found that lemon juice neutralizes uric acid, while a study from the Arthritis journal revealed that potent flavonoids in ginger are effective at calming the inflammation that triggers gout pain. To do: Simply add the juice of one lemon and one inch of thinly sliced fresh ginger to one quart of water. Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste, then refrigerate for one hour. When chilled, pour a tall glass and enjoy.

Wear socks to bed.

Ever wonder why big toes are the most common place for gout flare-ups to occur? Uric acid is highly sensitive to temperature, and it loves settling in the coolest part of your body — your feet. Luckily, you can prevent the acid from crystallizing there as you sleep by wearing cozy footies to bed. Better yet: Choose cotton or bamboo socks, which regulate temperature without the risk of overheating.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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