March is the start of National Nutrition month, dedicated to encouraging people to choose healthy meal options. The old adage about “you are what you eat” has a grain of truth to it. The more healthy food you eat, the healthier your body is, while eating unhealthy foods can take its toll. Nutrition can affect more than just weight and general health, of course. Your diet is one way you can prevent gout attacks.
Gout attacks happen suddenly and unexpectedly, when uric acid in your blood forms sharp crystals and collects in the spaces of your joints. Usually one of the big toes is affected, though any joint can develop the problem. A flare-up can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but the pain tends to be worse, last longer, and do more damage when it goes untreated. There isn’t a cure for the condition, either, so attacks can happen again and again—unless they are prevented.
Typically this condition is controlled with medications, but lifestyle changes, especially with your diet and nutrition, actually play a large role in preventing gout. Here are a few tips for avoiding uncomfortable flare-ups:
- Cut Down Meat Consumption – Meat, particularly seafood, fatty fish, and red meat, tends to be high in purines. Keep your daily meat consumption to a minimum, and instead supplement your protein with beans and legumes.
- Skip the Extra Sugar – High fructose corn syrup is both unhealthy and a big gout trigger. Cut down on foods and drinks with excessive fructose.
- Avoid the Alcohol – Alcohol is a major trigger for a gout attack. Avoid it altogether if you can. Drink water instead.
- Exercise Regularly – Being active is generally helpful for staying healthy, but it’s especially important if you’re overweight and have gout. Losing weight can reduce your risk for a flare-up.
Lifestyle changes are hard and will take time, but they are worth the effort if they succeed in helping you prevent gout attacks. Let Podiatry Associates, P.C. work with you to take care of your joints. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment at our Parker or Castle Pines, CO, offices. You can also use our online request form to reach out to us.
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