5 Tips for Reducing Gout Attacks
While there is no way to predict when a gout attack may occur, taking steps to balance the uric acid levels in the body can often help to reduce the frequency of attacks. By understanding the causes and triggers of attacks and making the necessary lifestyle changes, sufferers can easily manage and control their symptoms.
Eliminate High-Purine Foods From the Diet
Purine, a natural substance found in many different foods, creates uric acid upon digestion. Eliminating foods high in purine can help to minimize the build-up of uric acid in the system, which in turn can help to minimize gout attack symptoms such as inflammation and joint tenderness. Foods that contain purine include dried beans, game meats, mushrooms, sweet breads and liver.
Increase Intake of Non-Alcoholic Fluids
While alcohol consumption can increase uric acid levels in the body, drinking water actually helps to flush uric acid out of the system. Increasing intake of water and non-alcoholic fluids can help gout sufferers reduce attacks and manage symptoms by keeping the uric acid levels in the body balanced.
Eat Enough Carbohydrates
While many individuals attempt to lose weight by eliminating carbohydrates from the diet, the reality is that inadequate levels of carbohydrates can hinder the body's ability to burn off fat, which can lead to the development of ketones. When ketones make their way into the bloodstream, a spike in uric acid levels can occur. Eating a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates is essential for reducing gout symptoms.
Consult With a Physician Regarding Medication Alternatives
Blood pressure medications, chemotherapy medications and certain B-vitamins have been shown to cause an increase in uric acid levels. While it may not be possible to eliminate certain medications completely, it is always a good idea for gout sufferers to consult with a physician regarding possible alternatives, as this may help to keep uric acid levels in check.
Overweight individuals are at a higher risk for gout attacks due to the fact that the excess fatty tissues in the body are more likely to break down, leading to additional uric acid production. Maintaining a healthy body weight can help to decrease uric acid levels and provide several additional health benefits.
Gout is a chronic inflammatory condition that occurs when excess uric acid builds up inside the joints, resulting in swelling, inflammation and severe pain. Risk factors for gout include obesity, alcoholism and medical conditions such as diabetes, which are known to cause the body to over-produce uric acid. While the condition tends to progress in most individuals, the good news is that sufferers can often reduce gout attacks and relieve symptoms with home remedies, dietary changes and a few simple lifestyle adjustments.