For every medical condition out there you can think of, there are at least several commonly debated cures and treatments which some people believe work like a miracle, while others shun like no tomorrow. Gout is no different, and there are numerous things being debated as potentially solving the problems caused by the condition for most people – but you must be careful and approach everything with a grain of salt, because even though there may be some truth to some of these claims, nothing is universal and guaranteed to work on you.
Using heat for gout is one of the things that most frequently comes under fire and is the subject of much controversy – on one hand, some people claim that it can very effectively alleviate the negative effects of gout, while on the other some swear that it only makes things worse and should be avoided. Where does the truth lie though?
In order to analyze the problem most efficiently, you need to understand two things: what causes gout, and how heat works on your body. Gout is most typically caused by an increased concentration of uric acid in your bloodstream, which tends to have some adverse effects (and very seriously pronounced ones, too, as anyone who's been suffering from gout can tell you). On the other hand, heat causes your blood vessels to dilate and improve the flow of blood through that area of the body.
So in effect, heat achieves several things: it gives you a warm, soothing effect and helps the blood circulation, but that increased circulation may also make the effects of gout itself more pronounced for you, as you'll start being exposed to the harmful / painful substances in your own blood much more frequently. This means that heat can very effectively worsen a gout situation instead of helping it!
In the end, should you use heat to address a gout condition, or should you look for a different solution? We can tell you that this is a highly individual form of treatment – it works fine for some people, not so much for others; the only true way to see how it will affect your own body is to just try it on a smaller scale and be cautious about it. If you feel things getting worse, you can always stop – but if you feel soothed, you should definitely add that to your list of possible treatments!