16 Tips to Help Prevent Gout or Better Deal with its Symptoms

Gout Pain, University Foot and Ankle Institute

Gout is a type of arthritis that’s aggravated by high levels of uric acid in the blood. With an accumulation of uric acid in the bloodstream, it then crystallizes in the joints, and results in what’s known as “Gout”.

Often affecting the big toe, gout has moderate to intense joint pain, swelling, redness, and limited range of motion. The pain is often described as being excruciating, especially at night.

If you suffer from gout, or think you may be, you should be under the care of a doctor as there are treatment options which might very helpful for you. But did you know there are natural methods of treating gout that can prevent gout flare-ups? As is usually the case, to see improvement, dietary and lifestyle changes are needed. Watch what you eat and begin leading a healthier lifestyle than you do now.

This might not be as difficult to do as you fear. For example, including certain foods into your diet can improve your condition. Avoiding alcohol is not always easy. But avoiding seafood and alcohol together can go a long way in preventing flare-ups.

Here are 16 tips to help prevent suffering more than you need to from gout.

What You Should Consume to Help Keep Gout at Bay

1) Drink plenty of fluids

Staying hydrated helps flush the uric acid (the cause of gout’s joint pain) out of your system, preventing kidney stones as well`. You should drink at least eight cups of water a day and another eight of anything else, except alcohol (more on that soon).

2) Go Bananas!

Vitamin K that is present in bananas helps in liquefying uric acid crystals to flush them out of the body.

Bananas are also a rich source of Vitamin C, which helps reduce the inflammation and lessen the pain.

Eating a banana or two every day can provide relief from gout and is also a great source of potassium, which helps stop cramping to boot.

3) A Bunch of Cherries a Day Keeps Gout away?

Yes! Here is some serious good news for those of us looking for any excuse to consume cherries (which we love). Why cherries? The bottom line is that their antioxidant properties contain a pigment called anthocyanins, which can reduce inflammation and pain caused from gout. Cherries can be eaten fresh, or in the form of tarts and juice.

4) Munch on Celery

Celery is claimed to be one of the best foods to treat gout. Celery decreases uric acid levels, and has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce redness and swelling. However, celery could be harmful if you are excessively sensitive to salt. It is advisable to consult your doctor before munching on celery on a regular basis.

5) Put on the Juniper

With its properties for reducing swelling and pain, juniper is an effective topical treatment for arthritis and gout. The juice squeezed from juniper berries, which acts as an antiseptic, can be applied externally on swollen joints to reduce inflammation.

Nettle Tea and gout, University Foot and Ankle Institute

6) Get into Nettle Leaf Tea

Nettle has pain-relieving properties, which are effective in treating arthritis and gout. Studies reported that gout patients drastically eased their pain by almost 70 percent after they regularly consumed 2 to 3 cups of nettle leaf tea, in addition to their regular medication.

What You Need to Avoid Consuming to Help Tame Gout

7) Alcohol and Gout Do Not Go Together

Okay, this can really suck, but unfortunately alcohol can worsen the symptoms of gout by increasing the level of uric acid in your body. Beer, in particular, is high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. If you suffer from gout, it is essential that you avoid beer, and other alcoholic beverages, which we know is especially hard during the holidays.

8) Seafood and Meat Are Healthy for Some, but Not if You Have Gout.

Consumption of seafood and meat puts you at greater risk of developing gout, or contributes to its severity. Red meat reduces the excretion of uric acid by the kidneys, thus increasing its level in the body.

While seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential for a healthy heart, it also is high in purines. Individuals suffering from gout must avoid seafood. It can be replaced with soy and walnuts, which are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acid. Not all seafood is necessarily a problem if eaten in moderation, though certain seafood should be avoided whenever possible.

You’ll want to pass on meats such as liver, kidney and sweetbreads, which are high in purines and contribute to increased blood levels of uric acid. Stay away from seafood that is high in purines such as anchovies, herring, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel and tuna (this is a tough one if you’re a sushi lover).

Avoid Beer and Seafood During Gout Attack, University Foot and Ankle Institute

9) Alcohol and Seafood or Meat Together, a Double Whammy

We know, it’s hard to imagine having a fantastic steak without wine, or tuna sashimi without sake, or BBQ ribs or steamed shrimp without beer, but just don’t do it. It’s a double whammy of trouble. Avoid consuming meat and seafood with alcohol and you might find that you feel a whole lot better, which could dramatically soften the blow of giving them up.

We understand that changing your diet sucks, but give it a try. The benefits to the quality of your life can be tremendous. In just a short period of time, you might discover that the benefits outweigh the loss.

What You’ll Want to Remember to Do

10) Get a cane

It can be tough to accept, but walking with a cane during an acute gout attack will keep pressure off your painful joints and make life a lot more pleasant. For “styling” with a cane, there are some pretty darn cool ones out there on the Internet. A few of our favorite canes can be found at http://www.fashionablecanes.com/ and http://thewalkingcanestore.com/

11) Wear Warm Clothes When it’s Cold

If you live in a cold climatic area, you are susceptible to gout. Keep yourself warm by donning thick clothes and socks. Avoid exposing your feet to the cold, as gout often affects the big toe. Also, ensure that you sleep in a room that is slightly warmer than room temperature.

12) Exercise, but in Moderation

There is no substitute for exercise, as being overweight can contribute to gout. Keeping your weight in check and getting enough exercise will help prevent the accumulation of uric acid in the joints. Bear in mind that too much exercise can lead to trouble by putting more stress on already inflamed joints. Hence, always exercise in moderation.

By adding certain foods, and removing others from your diet, you can get relief from the symptoms of gout. To prevent gout flare-ups, exercise moderately, keep your weight in check, and lead a healthier lifestyle.

13) Elevate your foot, if affected

Raising your foot with pillows so it’s higher than your chest may help lessen swelling.

14) Tame your sheets

Even the weight of your bed sheets can be unbearable to an inflamed, gouty toe. Tuck the sheet in on the sides so its end falls at calf level, leaving your painful toe free of the covers.

15) Create gout-friendly socks

Cut the big toe out of cheap socks or cut the toe section off completely so you can have warm feet without toe pain.

16) Chill out

Last, but not least, sometimes one of the hardest things to do is RELAX. Life on its own can be stressful and dealing with painful attacks of gout are a challenge. Try to relax; stress can aggravate gout, this is a fact. If you can, watch a movie, talk to a friend, read a book, listen to music. Or if you’re fortunate enough to be so inclined, do yoga or practice meditation and mindfulness. Your body will thank you!

The UFAI Education Team

The UFAI Education Team

For almost fifteen years, University Foot and Ankle Institute and their nationally recognized physicians have been providing the most technologically advanced medical care for the foot and ankle with the highest success rates in the country.

As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.

We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.

The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.

We hope you enjoy our work and find it of value. Please let us know!
The UFAI Education Team

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