Does Cranberry Juice Help With Gout?

Cranberry juice is a refreshing beverage and a great source of vitamins and minerals — but can it really be an effective treatment for gout? According to Healthline, gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by swelling and severe pain. It is caused by a buildup of excess uric acid in the body, which can result in the formation of sharp crystals in the joints.

While further research is needed, there is no evidence that cranberry juice can help treat or prevent a gout flare-up. In fact, drinking it may do more harm than good. That's because high levels of uric acid can help lead to the development of a type of kidney stones known as uric acid stones. A small study published in the World Journal of Urology found that cranberries and cranberry juice can raise levels of oxalate in the urine, which can help create uric acid stones when combined with calcium. This means that drinking cranberry juice could potentially increase uric acid levels in the body, which may lead to gout attacks. However, further research is still needed to confirm this.

How to treat gout

Fortunately, there are plenty of proven treatments for gout attacks that can help ease your symptoms. If you've been diagnosed with gout and are experiencing a painful flare-up, your doctor or healthcare provider may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, which you should take as directed (via WebMD). These medications should help you manage and reduce any swelling and pain.

If you experience a flare-up within the first few months of taking these medicines, however, it doesn't mean that the drugs aren't working. It just means that your body is taking more time to adjust to them. If this happens, talk to your doctor. They will most likely give you something to help counteract these effects. You can also treat your gout without medicine if your symptoms aren't too severe. For instance, you can help lower inflammation and reduce pain by icing your joints for up to 20 minutes at a time. It's also important to rest and drink plenty of water.