If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from gout, you know that this painful form of arthritis can strike without warning. The sudden onset of intense joint pain, swelling, and inflammation can leave you feeling helpless.
While there is no cure for gout, there are things you can do to minimize the frequency and severity of your flare-ups. In addition to taking medication from an arthritis specialist to control the underlying causes of gout, following these simple tips can help you avoid triggering a flare-up.
- Avoid High-Purine Foods
Purines are a type of organic compound that is found naturally in some foods. When purines are metabolized, they break down into uric acid. While a small amount of uric acid is necessary for good health, too much can lead to gout.
Foods with high levels of purine include organ meats (liver, kidney, etc.), anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, and trout. Other high-purine foods include legumes (peas, beans, lentils), yeast, and alcohol (especially beer).
- Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking fluids helps to flush uric acid out of the body. The best fluids to drink are water and unsweetened juices. Limit your intake of sugary drinks and alcohol, as these can increase uric acid levels. You should aim for 8-10 glasses of water or other non-alcoholic beverages each day.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption
While moderate alcohol consumption (one or two drinks per day) is not necessarily harmful, excessive alcohol consumption can trigger a gout flare-up. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than two drinks per day.
- Limit Your Intake of High-Fructose Foods
Fructose is a type of sugar that is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It is also added to many processed foods and drinks. Studies have shown that fructose can increase uric acid levels in the blood. This may be due to the fact that fructose is metabolized differently than other types of sugar. Therefore, it is best to limit your intake of high-fructose foods, such as candy, soda, and fruit juice.
- Eat Plenty of High-Fiber Foods
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. It is found in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Fiber has many health benefits, including the ability to lower uric acid levels. This may be due to the fact that fiber binds to uric acid in the gut and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Avoid Crash Diets
Crash diets are very low-calorie diets that are not sustainable in the long term. They often lead to rapid weight loss, which can trigger gout. If you are overweight or obese, it is best to lose weight slowly and steadily. This will minimize your risk of developing gout.
- Limit Your Intake of Red Meat
Red meat is a good source of protein, iron, and other nutrients. However, it is also high in purines. Therefore, it is best to limit your intake of red meat, especially if you are prone to gout. If you do eat red meat, it is best to choose lean cuts and avoid processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and ham.
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that can cause flare-ups of pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. These flare-ups can be triggered by certain foods and drinks, so it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating and drinking if you have gout. If you’re having frequent or severe flare-ups, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
If you’re suffering from gout or other forms of arthritis, it’s best to seek help from experts who care about your well-being. At the Center for Arthritis & Osteoporosis, Dr. Humaira Adenwalla and her team of arthritis specialists in New Jersey are here to help you treat your condition and improve your quality of life. We adopt the finest treatment procedures and diagnostic modalities to manage these conditions. Request an appointment today and let our team help you get on the road to recovery.