5 Tips for Preventing a Gout Flare-Up

Do you feel unexplained, intense pain in your big toe? Does even the weight of your sheets against your toe cause pain? If so, you may be one of the 8 million Americans who suffer from gout. While this form of arthritis often seems to come and go at random, here at Podiatry Hotline, we understand the root causes of gout and can help you prevent future flare-ups.

Arthritis often impacts us as we age, and gout is no different. The condition typically develops in men between the ages of 30-50 and in postmenopausal women. While gout is a form of arthritis, it’s aggravated when the level of uric acid in your blood rises above normal levels and the acid starts to crystalize in your joint. These acid crystals bring severe pain, inflammation, and a decrease in your range of motion.

Gout can impact just about any joint in your body, but it seems to affect the big toe joint most often. In many cases of gout flare-ups, the toe gets so sore and sensitive that shoes — and even socks — get hard to wear. Many of our Mission Viejo, California patients tell us that even the pressure of their sheets and blankets is enough to cause sharp pain.

While you can’t necessarily eliminate gout from your life, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of uric acid in your blood and, therefore, decrease your risk for gout pain and inflammation. To help you overcome this painful condition, we’ve gathered our five top tips for preventing gout flare-ups, all of which you can try from home.

1. Stop drinking beer

Limiting alcohol in general can lower the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream, but when you really want to drop the level, considering giving up beer. Between the alcohol and the yeast, beer is one of the major contributors to gout flare-ups.

2. Watch what you eat

Certain foods can also make gout flare-ups more likely. Red meats, sardines, mussels, and bacon all increase your uric acid levels and can spur crystallization in your joints. And when you pair a bacon cheeseburger with a cold glass of beer, you’re almost guaranteeing joint pain and gout flare-up.

3. Munch on bananas, cherries, and celery

Instead of opting for meats and yeasty carbs when you’re hungry, consider eating bananas, cherries, and celery. Bananas are rich in vitamin K, which liquifies uric acid crystals and flushes them from your body. As part of their antioxidant makeup, cherries contain a pigment called anthocyanin that reduces gout pain and inflammation. Celery works to lower uric acid levels, as well as alleviate pain and swelling.

4. Stay hydrated

When you’re dehydrated, your body struggles to eliminate the uric acid crystals that form in your joints. Avoid dehydration and gout flare-ups by striving to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. To get maximum gout prevention, try some nettle leaf tea. Its anti-inflammatory properties work especially well on arthritis-related pain and inflammation.

5. Get moving

Like osteoarthritis (the most common form of the joint disorders), gout may respond well to getting up and moving. Engaging in gentle, yet routine exercise helps to keep 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. Although exercise is important, it’s necessary to remember that your joints are arthritic; keep your routine gentle and don’t go overboard.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When to Consider Custom Orthotics

Sometimes, your feet need a little extra help to do their job well. Wearing medical grade custom orthotics can decrease your pain, correct alignment issues, and generally support your feet. Learn when you should consider getting custom orthotics.

Medical Intervention of Slow Healing Fractures

Foot and ankle fractures can occur in anyone, and worse yet, you might get a nonunion fracture that doesn’t heal properly. Understand the different fractures, and what you can do if your fracture hasn’t responded as expected to treatment.

In-Office Wound Grafting With Stem Cells

Diabetic foot ulcers can cause serious problems if they remain untreated. If you’re looking for a solution, stem cell grafts just might be the treatment you’ve been waiting for. Learn more about this revolutionary in-office diabetic wound treatment.

Arthritis in Your Feet

The amount of work your feet put in to support your body makes them especially susceptible to arthritis. With treatment, it’s possible to restore your quality of life. Discover more about arthritis in your feet and the treatment options available.

What Causes a Ganglion Cyst on Your Foot and Ankle?

Ganglion cysts, one of the most common soft-tissue lumps that occur on your foot and ankles, can cause pain and impact your daily functioning. Understand what’s behind foot and ankle ganglion cysts, and what to do if you discover one on your foot.