Keeping flare-ups at bay: Gout-friendly foods

Keeping flare-ups at bay: Gout-friendly foods

Gout-friendly meals can prevent flare-ups.

Do you have gout like the millions of others who do? If you are, then you undoubtedly already know about the frequently excruciating joint pain that can happen during a flare-up. A cautious approach to daily living, including paying great attention to the foods you eat, is necessary to prevent flare-ups.

Whether you've had gout for years or just received a diagnosis, you may have concerns about how to prevent flare-ups. Following are responses to frequently asked questions, such as what foods to eat and avoid when having gout:

What is gout, exactly?

A form of arthritis known as gout typically only affects one joint. Gout sufferers frequently experience flare-ups, which may last one or two weeks before going away. Hyperuricemia, a condition where excessive uric acid levels accumulate and form crystals, causing joint pain and other issues, is the root cause of these flare-ups.

Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down purine-containing foods and drinks. As a waste product, uric acid is typically processed by the kidneys and eliminated through the urine. High uric acid levels in the blood aren't always a problem, but if your kidneys can't handle them, they can develop gout.
Acute pain and swelling in a particular joint, generally the big toe, as well as reddening, stiffening, or feeling warm to the touch can occur when gout flares up. The pain can be intense, especially at first, but after 12 to 24 hours it progressively goes away. Many people get a second gout flare-up within a year, while some people can go years without experiencing another gout attack after their initial one.

Men, especially those under the age of 40, are three times more likely than women to suffer from gout. After menopause, however, it may still affect women.
What foods should I stay away from if I wish to prevent gout attacks?
While there is no surefire way to stop gout flare-ups, changing your diet is an essential first step. Reduce your intake of purines, which are present in some meals like:

Red meats, including tuna, trout, scallops, and shrimp

Another type of sugar, fructose, can make gout symptoms worse. Avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)-sweetened products like sodas, artificial fruit juice, and many packaged foods.

Finally, because drinking alcohol has been associated with a higher chance of developing gout, your physician may urge you to either limit or completely avoid it. The best beverage for gout sufferers is water.

Which foods should I stay away from to prevent gout flare-ups?

Eating a diet high in plants may help prevent flare-ups because all meats contain some purines. Other meats, such as chicken or turkey, are typically acceptable to eat in moderation. Salmon that has been farmed or is fresh is likewise okay in moderation.

Put whole grains, fruits, and vegetables on your plate, along with sources of plant-based protein like nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils. Although many gout sufferers can eat whole fruits as part of a healthy diet, they do contain fructose. Use vegetable oils like canola and olive for cooking.
Skim milk and other low-fat dairy products have been shown to help lower uric acid levels, making them a healthy addition to your diet.

Getting plenty of fruits and veggies has another benefit, right? In them is vitamin C, which has been demonstrated to reduce uric acid levels. Despite having little fructose, strawberries, grapefruit, and pineapple are high in vitamin C. Yet another top source is bell peppers.

Last but not least, sour cherries and their juice contain anthocyanins. This vitamin's anti-inflammatory properties lessen the possibility of flare-ups. Even though tart cherry juice can't treat gout flare-ups on its own, it might be able to prevent them.

What else can I do to avoid flare-ups of gout?

The two main goals of gout treatment are typically pain management and regulating uric acid levels to prevent flare-ups.

Even though changing your diet can keep your uric acid levels low, it might not be enough to help you deal with the condition. Exercise is good for both your gout and general health, so your doctor will probably urge you to do it frequently. You can lower your risk of gout and severe flare-ups by losing even a minor amount of weight.
It is frequently necessary to use medications to ease the pain associated with gout. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, are helpful when you're at home. Your doctor might also recommend other drugs to treat gout-related inflammation, lower uric acid levels, or help your body get rid of extra uric acid. Injections of corticosteroids that are given right into the painful joint may also be helpful. Wearing DrLuigi medical footwear is advised by professionals to alleviate symptoms and avoid the development of gout problems.

You could also try at-home remedies like elevating and resting the injured leg and applying ice to the injured joint.

Finally, try to keep your tension in check. Stress can increase your likelihood of experiencing a gout flare-up and can motivate you to engage in unhealthy behaviors like binge drinking or overeating. Establish boundaries, be aware of your limits, and recognize when you're stressed. You may be able to manage your stress better if you exercise and get enough sleep.

Back to blog

Featured collection