Tips for preventing Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis that can cause painful symptoms during a flare-up. Caused by a build-up of uric acid in the joints, flare-ups can appear suddenly with persistent discomfort. At Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, California, we help patients manage flare-ups of gout through various methods; however, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to prevent your risk of future attacks.
Tips for preventing gout
Alter your diet
High uric acid levels in the blood lead to needle-like crystals accumulating in your joints, which causes pain in a gout attack. Uric acid is produced by the breakdown of purine, a chemical that occurs naturally in the body but also in many foods. Limiting your intake of high purine foods can aid in the prevention of a flare-up. Foods to limit include:
- Red meat
- Organ meats (liver/kidney)
- Sugary foods
Lose excess weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for developing gout because your kidneys do not work as efficiently at eliminating uric acid.
Stress can trigger a build-up of uric acid which can trigger a flare-up and can also make symptoms worse during an attack—finding ways to manage stress through exercise and other relaxation methods can help.
Have a plan for treating an attack
Flare-ups of gout can occur at any time, even in the middle of the night, so it’s helpful to have a plan in place for handling them. When an attack occurs, there are a few things you can do to alleviate pain, including:
- Elevate your foot
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Apply ice (20 minutes several times per day)
- Relax as much as possible
If you have been experiencing painful symptoms that you suspect may be gout, scheduling a consultation for diagnosis and treatment options is essential. Early treatment is a critical way to reduce the severity of future flare-ups. To schedule an appointment with Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, California, call 760-509-2429.