Gout is a painful form of arthritis. It usually affects just one joint at a time, and it most often affects the big toe. Gout attacks tend to come and go, with flare-ups lasting for several weeks at a time. When gout strikes, it often comes on suddenly, and it might even wake you up in the middle of the night.
While it may not be possible to prevent all gout attacks, adjusting your diet may help decrease the number and severity of attacks. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates explains more about the link between gout and your diet.
Your body makes uric acid when it breaks down substances called purines, which are found naturally in your body and in foods. If there’s a buildup of uric acid, urate crystals can form and make their way into joints. When this occurs, this can lead to pain and inflammation in the affected joints.
Certain factors can increase your chances of suffering a gout attack, including the following:
If you have certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, poor kidney function, or diabetes, this can also increase your chances of suffering gout attacks.
If you suffer gout attacks, there are some things you can do to decrease the intensity and frequency of the attacks, such as the following:
Many people find that following a diet specifically formulated to avoid gout attacks can help reduce the frequency and intensity of gout attacks. Some of the dietary changes that may help include the following:
Do know, however, that many people need to take medication in addition to following a special diet.
Carrying excess weight increases your risk of developing many illnesses and chronic conditions, including gout. Losing weight can help reduce your likelihood of experiencing future gout attacks. It’s important to follow a sensible weight loss plan that you can stick with rather than going on a crash diet to try and lose weight quickly.
While following a healthy diet can do a lot to help prevent gout attacks, you’ll likely need additional treatments when you’re in the midst of gout flare-up. Some of the treatments Dr. Berg uses to manage gout include the following:
If you have the pain and swelling of a gout attack, it’s important to get treatment right away. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.