How to Prevent Gout Attacks
Those living with gout understand what a daily struggle it is to manage and prevent gout attacks. Gout symptoms and severity will vary from person to person. There are ways to help reduce the symptoms associated with gout at home and through lifestyle changes. Below, we outline five ways to combat your chances of an attack:
One way to alleviate symptoms associated with gout attacks is to curb your intake of purines and avoiding a high purine diet. Purines are substances that are found in animal and meat products. Once consumed, the body turns them into uric acid. The main cause of gout attacks stems from too much uric acid in the body. Our bodies produce uric acid naturally and the rest we derive from our diets. Foods high in purine typically include red meat, beer, liquor, and high fructose corn syrup.
To prevent gout attacks, it is best to cut down on red meats, and eliminating processed foods and those high in sugar. Instead, opt for foods such as fruits, vegetables (although some like beans, spinach, and cauliflower can be high in purines), and low-fat, non-dairy foods.
We all deal with stress in our daily lives and for some, it can subside pretty quickly. But for those with gout, stress, especially long-term stress, can aggravate and bring on symptoms. It is important to manage stress to prevent gout attacks because long-term stress can increase uric acid. This can cause severe pain and worsening symptoms. For someone with gout, it is important to look for ways to alleviate stressful situations in your life. This is not only beneficial to your physical health, but to your mental health as well.
Exercise is a proven stress reducer and contributes to a healthy lifestyle and aids in combating gout attacks. Most importantly, it is best to work towards a positive mindset if you don’t have one already. Consuming yourself with negativity can eventually manifest itself into physical symptoms, and cause gout to suffer more pain.
The wrong shoe choice has been linked to gout attacks. Shoes such as sandals, flip-flops, heels, or any shoe that lacks support or stability can send symptoms skyrocketing. Shoes that also have wear and tear on them are also not ideal for gout patients. Shoes need to provide stability and comfort. Consider looking at shoes that are known to provide just that, including athletic sneakers, walking shoes, or oxfords. These shoes will provide less stress on the joints in your feet, minimizing flare-ups.
Physical therapy provides another way for gout patients to alleviate symptoms and attacks. Walking can become extremely painful when flare-ups occur. Working with a physical therapist means you will find a customized treatment to fit your specific needs. Some treatments can include cycling, walking (sometimes assisted with a cane), and light exercise. Gout can cause long-term damage to the joints, so maintaining good movement and flexibility will be key to combat symptoms and long-term implications.
One of the most important ways to prevent gout attacks is by staying hydrated and drinking lots of water. Water doesn’t stress out any vital organs and even acts as a lubricant on the joints. This helps relieve symptoms and pains associated with an attack. Water will help dilute the uric acid and will help it pass quickly through the body. This helps uric acids stay under control since too much uric acid can trigger an attack. Avoid overconsuming drinks high in sugar as this can contribute to higher purine intakes.
Ongoing Treatment to Prevent Gout Attacks
Living with gout is not easy but can be manageable with the right treatments. It’s also beneficial to seek help through organizations that specialize in gout treatments. Fairview Adult Day Care Center in Brooklyn helps their clients personalize their treatment, including diet changes and physical exercise. With the help of the professionals at Fairview ADC, gout patients can enjoy a better quality of life and prevent gout attacks in the future.