Avoiding Gout Flares


Avoiding Gout Flares

Prevent Gout Attacks forks

Ah! Summer barbecues are filling the air with the smell of juicy hamburgers and sausages, and who wouldn’t love a big bite of one right about now? Unfortunately, that may be one of the pleasures you’ll have to forego if you want to avoid a gout attack in your big toe or other joints.

Let’s back up and see what really causes gout in the first place. It is a medical condition that makes you produce too much uric acid or be unable to properly process it. When it builds up in your bloodstream, it can crystalize, and tiny, sharp grains can precipitate in any foot, ankle or big toe joints where the temperature is lowest in our body and cause excruciating pain during sleep. The reasons you develop this condition can vary from injury, illness, and taking certain medications to crash dieting, drinking too much, or dehydration.

The foods you eat can also be triggers for gout pain. Any food high in purines may give your body problems when processing them. These include red meats (like hamburgers and sausages), shellfish, sugary beverages, and excessive alcohol—especially red wine—another summer barbecue staple you’ll need to watch. It is recommended that women limit themselves to one drink and men to two drinks in a 24-hour period.

Good Foods to Counteract Gout

To counteract the effects of these trigger foods and beverages, you can eat plenty of the kind that lower uric acid levels and promote heart health. They include vegetables, low-fat dairy, plant oils, whole grains, tart fruits, and water—or coffee if you are used to it.

If you have been dealing with gout for a while, you know what foods cause your gout attack, but if you are new to the disease, you may want to start a food diary. Each time your big toe pain strikes, write down what you remember eating over the previous few days, to narrow down which foods and drinks might be a problem for you.

For gout pain, or any other ailment affecting your feet, don’t hesitate to come to Ottawa Foot Practice for diagnosis and treatment. We will work closely with your family doctor to help you find relief. Just call our office in Ottawa at (613) 595-9700 and set up a time to come in. You can also schedule via our website.

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