Gout Tips- Prevention and Management
Gout occurs when there is a high level of uric acid in the blood which causes needle-like crystals to form around a joint. These crystals are what causes the pain. “Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down a chemical called purine. Purine occurs naturally in your body but it’s also found in certain foods. Uric acid is eliminated from the body in urine.”
It can be managed with medication and maintaining a balanced healthy diet. Follow these tips to help manage and prevent another gout occurrence.
Foods to avoid:
-Organ and glandular meats such as, liver, kidney and sweetbreads, which are very high in uric acid.
-Select seafood that contain higher amounts of purine, such as, anchovies, sardines, mussels, trout, and tuna.
-Alcohol. The metabolism of alcohol is thought to raise uric acid production.
-Sugary foods & refined carbohydrates
Foods to limit:
-Oatmeal, wheat bran, and wheat germ
-Select Vegetables: asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, and green peas
-Select proteins: poultry, fish, beans
-Meat soups and broths
Foods to use as desired:
-Coffee. It may help reduce your gout risk, so enjoy as much as you’d like.
-Fruits, especially Cherries, are shown to reduce gout attacks.
-Vegetable soups and stocks
-Weight loss. A lower calorie diet is always beneficial and the reduction in weight is good for your joints.
-Complex carbohydrates- whole wheat & whole-grain breads and cereal and rice.
-Low-fat dairy, shown to aid in the excretion of uric acid.
-Nuts & peanut butter
-Soda and tea
For a list of purine levels in the foods you enjoy, click here.
To help you navigate your gout diet, visit our Pinterest page for a few gout friendly recipes.
What to do when you have a Gout Flare-up?
- Take medication that you have on hand– “Start treatment immediately with over-the-counter ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), but never take aspirin, which can worsen a flare. If you have had a flare before and your doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication to take in the event of another, take your prescribed medication as your doctor directed. If you are already taking a uric acid-lowering drug to reduce the risk of flares, continue to take that drug.”
- Ice the area– Applying an ice pack to the painful joint may help ease pain and inflammation. Wrap a pack (a bag of crushed ice or frozen peas will also do) in a dish cloth and apply to the area for 20- to 30-minutes at a stretch several times a day.
- Hydrate– Drink plenty of fluids. Aim for around 16 cups of water a day.
- Elevate Your Foot– raising your foot about your heart could help reduce swelling.
- Relax– Reduce your stress as much as possible. Stress can aggravate gout.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of gout, or have a painful toe, call Dr. Hollander for an evaluation. You don’t need to be uncomfortable anymore! (707) 578-1222.