Essential Oils for Gout To Move Around Pain Free
If you don’t have gout it can be difficult to explain just how painful and debilitating this condition can be. It’s unpredictable, can last for an undetermined amount of time, varies in severity, and unfortunately often is a repeat occurrence.
While I have never experienced gout, my best friend, and old room mate has it. I’ve seen him one day be fine and the next unable to get out of bed, having to use crutches for weeks, and his feet, toes, and leg swell up to the size of, well way bigger than they should be.
What is gout?
Gout is the most common type of arthritis characterized by intense swelling, stiffness, and pain around the joints, particularly in the big toe. Some people are lucky enough to have the inflammation disappear after a few hours or days by themselves.
However, in other cases, like my friend, this swelling can continue to return with extreme pain, putting you out of commission for days, sometimes even weeks. During gout attacks, you’re dealing with more than just swelling, it can also target your underlying tissues and this is one of the reasons why gout attacks have been associated with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
Stages of Gout
Gout manifests in various stages:
1. Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia
Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in tissues. In asymptomatic hyperuricemia, levels of this acid rise without any external symptoms. People with this early type of gout don’t have to seek treatment for the condition. Instead, they are advised to identify and solve the problem causing accumulation of the acid, often by modifying their diet.
2. Acute Gout
Acute gout takes place when there is a sudden increase in urate crystals inside your tissues. This immediately leads to severe inflammation accompanied by intense pain. The pain and swelling usually reduces within ten days. Acute gout is typical as a result of sudden stressful events, cold weather, drugs or alcohol.
3. Interval/Intercritical Gout
The period between two acute gout attacks is called interval or inter-critical gout. This period may span years, but if you never treat the underlying condition, then urate crystals will continue accumulating. This can lead to shorter intervals of even more painful acute gout attacks.
4. Chronic Tophaceous Gout
Chronic tophaceous gout is the results of years of ignoring gout symptoms and onsets. This happens if you haven’t addressed your condition for 10 years or so, and large urate crystals have been able to form in the meantime. In these cases other joints including your fingers could be affected.
- Extreme tenderness in your joints
- Inability to regulate body temperature, alternating from chills to fever
- Inflammation and swelling
- Intense joint pain, most commonly around the ankle, big toe, wrist or hand
- Discoloration around joints- purple or red
In most cases the uric acid our bodies produce is excreted in urine with the assistance of our kidneys. When this happens, hyperuricemia or excessive uric acid in the blood causes gout. Exposure to specific factors increases a person’s likelihood of developing this condition.
- Age and Gender: Men and women past menopause are at the highest risk of developing urate crystals.
- Genetics: You are more susceptible to the condition if you come from a family with gout history.
- Lifestyle: Alcohol and drug abuse interrupt the excretion of uric acid. Diets rich in high-purine foods (many shellfish and some red meats) also increases vulnerability to gout.
- Lead Exposure: a few cases of gout have been linked to chronic lead exposure.
- Medications: Some diuretics and other medications containing salicylate increase levels of uric acid in your body.
Gout treatments usually involves oral medications that work to either improve the performance of your kidneys or reduce the production of uric acid. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to address symptoms.
Unfortunately these medicines don’t always work and you’ll be left anxiously waiting to see if you’ll have another flare up. An alternative treatment option is to use the natural healing properties of essential oils to help restore proper kidney and bodily functioning as well as help with inflammation and pain.
Essential oils for Gout
1. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense promotes pain relief in different parts of the body. This oil blocks leukotriene which is responsible for swelling in the body. Clinical trials have proven its ability in treating inflammation especially if caused by sodium urate crystals. This, therefore, makes it ideal for use in treating not just gout but many other forms of arthritis.
Treatment: To enjoy fast pain relief, mix it with a carrier oil and massage the affected joints. You can then apply a warm compress or heating pad on top. Lactating mothers are warned against using this essential oil.
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2. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that does more than just reducing swelling. The oil will block nociceptors around the affected joint, saving you from feeling the excruciating pain of acute gout. Additionally, rosemary oil will promote blood flow which speeds up the excretion of urate crystals and the healing process of the affected tissues and joints.
Blend: Mix Rosemary oil with a carrier oil and gently massage it on affected joints.
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3. Ginger Oil
Ginger contains two potent anti-inflammatory compounds; shogaols and gingerois. These help reduce both the swelling and pain caused by gout while its detoxification properties work to eliminate foreign substances.
To use: Mix ginger oil with a carrier oil and apply to affected areas.
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4. Turmeric Oil
Turmeric oil has been known for its medicinal purposes for centuries. Ancient ayurvedic texts document how Turmeric was used in the treatment of various diseases, and recent studies have further supported this. The oil’s incredible analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits relieve the swelling and pain caused by urate crystals.
Direct application: The best method is to apply right onto affected regions.
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There is a reason why natural treatments are becoming even more popular with each passing day. They work, they’re free of negative side effects, and they don’t only treat your immediate problem, but work to improve your overall health. Get back on your feet and keep the gout attacks at bay by keeping essential oils in your arsenal.