Just been diagnosed with gout? What you need to know

Being diagnosed with a long-term condition such as gout can feel quite scary. And you may be wondering how you will cope. Luckily, there are many positive steps you can take to minimize your symptoms of gout and reduce its negative impact on your life. Here, we will cover the essentials that you need to know for living with this condition.

A simple salad in a bowl

Adjust your diet

Your doctor may have told you that certain foods can aggravate symptoms of gout. This is due to the purine content – purines cause uric acid to crystallize. These crystals are stored in your joints and can cause flare-ups. As a result, it is imperative to review your diet and try to reduce your consumption of purine-rich foods.

Sardines, organ meats, shellfish, and red meats typically have the highest purine content. It is recommended to avoid eating these foods if you suffer from gout.

In the short term until you have the condition under control other meats, such as chicken, turkey, and some fish should only be eaten in small amounts a few times a week to help prevent gout flares.

Try to fill your plate with vegetables and whole grains, and use lentils, pulses, and beans for

Additional protein. If you are a meat lover this may be difficult, but doing your part will minimize your risk of severely painful symptoms. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy vegetarian and vegan dishes.

For me, intermediate fasting along with reducing my consumption of sugar and processed foods has allowed me to maintain a normal lifestyle.

Poring water into a glass with mint and lime
Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Drink more water

As gout flares are caused by a buildup of urate crystals lodged in the joints,

It makes sense that the better hydrated your blood is, the easier it will be for the crystals to be

Flushed out of your body. Everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but if

When you have a flare-up of gout, you should double this.

Alcohol

You may not want to hear this but until you have your gout under control stop drinking all alcohol.

Medications

Any medication you are taking should be reviewed for side effects.

Person holding the wrist due to pain
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Treat flares accordingly

Your doctor can prescribe medicine to lower the level of uric acid in your blood, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs, they may help prevent flares. But there are also some other ways to help relieve the symptoms of a painful gout attack.

This link has some other ways to help relieve the symptoms of a painful gout attack.

You can take over-the-counter ibuprofen, but aspirin can aggravate the pain. In order to reduce swelling and inflammation, you can apply a cold pack and elevate your sore joint to about the same level as your heart. When moving around, use a cane or crutches to help take the pressure off the affected area.

Complications

Unfortunately, gout can cause some more serious conditions. If a gout attack is left untreated it can cause the joint to become damaged and stiff. Prevention is key, so be sure to treat flare-ups quickly and make those positive lifestyle changes to help stop attacks from occurring in the first place.

Some people will develop advanced gout, where the urate crystals become deposited under

Tophi are lumps that form on the skin. These usually aren’t painful, but they can be unsightly and restrictive, especially if they form on the feet and ankles. Tophi may become swollen and sore during a flare-up. Having gout also puts you at a higher risk of kidney stones. Where urate crystals may gather in the urinary tract.

Remember, keep an eye out for any gout symptoms and check in with your doctor if you are concerned. With the right lifestyle changes and diet changes, you can manage this challenging condition.

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