Gout affects 8 million Americans, mostly men between the ages of 30 and 50, along with women who have reached menopause. It can impact any joint, but often begins in a big toe. You might have pain so severe even a sock or a sheet touching your foot is agonizing. If this sounds like the pain you endure from gout, it’s time to make some changes.
At Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, with 16 locations across southern Georgia and South Carolina, our team of experienced podiatrists can help you manage your gout with lifestyle modifications and medication if needed. They’re here to offer you these five tips for preventing a painful gout flare-up.
1. Cut down on alcohol consumption
Alcohol can raise the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream. Beer is the worst because it also contains yeast, which also makes a gout attack more likely. Beer is one of the top causes of gout flare-ups among people who consume it, so try switching to another beverage instead.
2. Avoid these foods when possible
Certain foods also make gout flare-ups more likely. Avoid foods that can increase uric acid levels in the body, such as:
- Red meat
- Organ meats, like liver
3. Add these foods to your diet
Many foods have low purine levels, meaning they are less likely to raise your uric acid. Try adding these to your diet while cutting back on the foods listed above.
- Whole grains
- Dairy (low fat if necessary)
- Plant-based fats and oils
- Stone fruits like cherries (capable of lowering uric acid levels)
4.Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The top “modifiable risk factor” (factor you can change to to lower your risk) is how much water you drink. Staying hydrated can help prevent gout flare-ups, so make sure you get your eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
5. Stay active
The worst thing you can do for painful joints is to immobilize yourself. This causes joints to “freeze up” and become even more stiff and painful. Get a cane to relieve pressure from the most painful side, and try to stay active and moving every day to keep your blood circulation optimized.
Are you ready to get your gout under control, so you can stop the pain and start enjoying your life again? Our team of podiatrists is ready and waiting to help you, from diagnosis to a full treatment plan (along with lifestyle changes!) to get you back on your feet again.