Gout causes extreme pain in your joints, especially your big toe. Walking, wearing shoes, and even the feel of socks can aggravate gout pain and make it impossible to move around and do daily tasks.
Gout occurs when you have too much uric acid in your blood. This uric acid crystalizes in your joints, causing severe pain, inflammation, and decreased range of motion.
Gout is more than just pain in your big toe, too. Although this is often where it first shows, the arthritis pain of gout can show up in just about any joint in your body. If you’re among the 8.3 million Americans who suffer from gout, we at Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey, are here to help in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
The best way to avoid gout pain is to avoid a flare-up to begin with. Gout doesn’t just come and go unpredictably. Your behavior and daily habits have an impact on your uric acid levels and, thus, painful gout flare-ups. Take some time to read what you can do to reduce your inflammation and pain.
1. Reduce your alcohol intake
Keep your alcohol intake down to lower the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream. Skip wine and spirits as much as possible. And consider giving up beer altogether. Between the alcohol and the yeast, beer is one of the major contributors to gout flare-ups.
2. Modify your diet
Certain foods can also make gout flare-ups more likely. You’d be smart to cut out most red meats, sardines, mussels, and bacon, as all of these directly increase your uric acid levels and can spur crystallization in your joints. Even worse is having a bacon cheeseburger washed down with a pint of beer. You’re almost guaranteed a gout flare-up.
3. Choose healthy snacks
When you’re hungry between meals, opt for healthy foods such as bananas, cherries, and celery. Bananas are rich in vitamin K, which liquifies uric acid crystals and flushes them from your body. Rich in antioxidants, cherries contain a pigment called anthocyanin that reduces gout pain and inflammation. Celery is also powerful in lowering uric acid levels, possibly helping to alleviate gout pain and swelling.
4. Keep drinking lots of fluids
Dehydration makes it hard for your body to eliminate uric acid crystals from your joints. Drink at least 8 ounces of water each day and remember that other fluids, such as that in broth-based soup and fresh fruits, also help reduce the concentration of uric acid in your system.
5. Increase physical activity
During a gout flare-up, physical activity can be painful. But daily, gentle exercise routines can help prevent gout symptoms from occurring in the first place. Physical activity keeps your joints functioning well and flushes uric acid crystallization from them.
Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can also help you lose weight, which reduces your risk of gout flare-ups. We can offer a smart exercise plan that doesn’t overload your joints but does offer positive gout-easing benefits.
Don’t just surrender to gout flare-ups. Know there is a lot you can do to keep symptoms at bay and live a normal, healthy, and functional life. A consultation with one of our podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey, can help you learn how to manage gout pain and prevent it from occurring in the first place. Call us or book an appointment online today.