What Can You Drink If You Have Gout
Foods arenât the only thing that can affect uric acid. What you drink matters, too.
Itâs a good idea to drink lots of fluids — 8 to 16 cups a day. At least half of what you drink should be water. Vitamin C also can help lower uric acid, but studies also show that the high fructose in OJ may boost uric acid levels, so drink it in moderation. Caffeinated coffee can cut uric acid, too, as long as you donât overdo it.
Stay away from sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. You also may need to limit or avoid alcohol as well. Talk with your doctor to find out whatâs right for you.
While a healthy diet can help control how much uric acid is in your system, you may still need medicine to prevent future attacks. Talk with your doctor about all your treatment options.
How To Know If Your Gout Is Progressing
As you become more familiar with gout symptoms, you may be able to sense that a gout attack is coming on. Worsening of pain, swelling, redness, and warmth of the affected joint during the attack is the sign of progression of that attack, Dr. Meysami says.
In addition, the disease overall may progress with recurrent or more frequent gout attacks with longer duration, the involvement of more joints, and the presence of tophi, Dr. Meysami says.
If you have more than one gout flare a year, its really important to get on a regular gout medication, says Dr. Fields.
Topical Cold Or Hot Application
Applying cold or hot water to inflamed joints may also be effective.
Studies and opinions on this are mixed. Soaking in cold water is most often recommended and considered most effective. Ice packs may also work.
Soaking in hot water is typically only recommended when inflammation isnt as intense.
Alternating hot and cold applications may also be helpful.
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What Causes Your Gout Attacks
If there is too much uric acid in your blood, the acid turns into crystals in your joints especially your toes, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers.
The crystals are very sharp, like needles, and your joint gets very sore and painful. This is called a gout attack.
Crystals can cause damage to your joints.
The crystals cause lumps which are called tophi . If tophi get too big they can make it hard for you to wear shoes, use a knife and fork, write and walk easily.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP may ask about your diet and if you drink alcohol.
They may refer you to see a specialist and arrange a blood test and scan. Sometimes a thin needle is used to take a sample of fluid from inside the affected joint, to test it.
The blood test will find out how much of a chemical called uric acid there is in your blood.
Having too much uric acid in your blood can lead to crystals forming around your joints, which causes pain.
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Foods High In Purines
The body produces purine compounds, and people also ingest them from food.
Purines can increase the risk of urate crystals forming in the joints and tissues, so avoiding them in food can help manage the condition.
Arthritis Foundation advises which foods and drinks contain high or moderate amounts of purines:
- all types of alcoholic drinks
- some fish, including sardines, anchovies, trout, herring, and haddock
- shellfish and seafood, such as mussels, scallops, crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp
- high purine meats, such as bacon, turkey, veal, sausage, and venison
- moderate purine meats, such as beef, chicken, pork, duck, and ham
- organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads
Who Is Affected By Gout
Gout can affect anyone. It usually occurs earlier in men than women. It generally occurs after menopause in women. Men can be three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives. Women reach these uric acid levels after menopause.
People are more likely to get gout if they have:
- Obesity, or a lot of extra weight.
You are also more likely to develop gout if you:
- Consume a diet high in animal proteins
- Consume a significant amount of alcohol
- Are on water pills .
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What Youll Want To Remember To Do
10) Get a cane
It can be tough to accept, but walking with a cane during an acute gout attack will keep pressure off your painful joints and make life a lot more pleasant. For styling with a cane, there are some pretty darn cool ones out there on the Internet. A few of our favorite canes can be found at https://www.fashionablecanes.com/ and https://thewalkingcanestore.com/
11) Wear Warm Clothes When its Cold
If you live in a cold climatic area, you are susceptible to gout. Keep yourself warm by donning thick clothes and socks. Avoid exposing your feet to the cold, as gout often affects the big toe. Also, ensure that you sleep in a room that is slightly warmer than room temperature.
12) Exercise, but in Moderation
There is no substitute for exercise, as being overweight can contribute to gout. Keeping your weight in check and getting enough exercise will help prevent the accumulation of uric acid in the joints. Bear in mind that too much exercise can lead to trouble by putting more stress on already inflamed joints. Hence, always exercise in moderation.
13) Elevate your foot, if affected
Raising your foot with pillows so its higher than your chest may help lessen swelling.
14) Tame your sheets
Even the weight of your bed sheets can be unbearable to an inflamed, gouty toe. Tuck the sheet in on the sides so its end falls at calf level, leaving your painful toe free of the covers.
15) Create gout-friendly socks
16) Chill out
What Should I Consider If I Take Medication
There are certain medications that can raise the levels of uric acid, thereby increasing the risk of gout. These include diuretics , acetylsalicylic acid and some medications that are taken after an organ transplant. Levodopa and some cancer medications can also increase the risk of gout.
If you take any of these medications, it’s best to discuss with your doctor whether it would be possible to switch to a different medication.
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What Can I Do On My Own To Prevent Gout Attacks
Gout is caused by high uric acid levels. If theres too much uric acid in our bodies, it can build up in joints and cause an acute gout attack. Some people manage to keep their levels of uric acid down by eating less meat, fish and seafood and drinking less alcohol.
Uric acid is released when substances called purines are broken down. Purines are mainly produced inside the body, but they are also found in many different types of foods that we eat. Fish, meat and seafood are especially rich in purines. People with gout are sometimes advised to stick to a strict low-purine diet. But its not clear exactly how effective that kind of diet is.
Gout Can Go Awayor Return Again And Again
Gout attacks almost always result in stabbing pain, redness, and swelling in a joint. In men, about 50% of first-time gout attacks involve a big toe joint.1 Other commonly affected joints include the instep, heel, ankle, and knee.2
See Gout Symptoms
After the first gout attack, the condition can affect people differently:
- Some people will go months or even years without having another gout attackor very rarely, they may never have another one again.
- Other people will begin to experience gout attacks regularly. Eventually, these flare-ups may become frequent and longer-lasting. Chronic gout can lead to permanent joint damage and result in disability. Thankfully, early and appropriate treatment of the underlying cause of gouthigh levels of uric acid in the bloodcan prevent joint damage.
Experts cant predict who will have a one-time attack versus chronic gout. If youve had an attack, its worth your time and effort to make changes that can help you avoid another painful flare-up.
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Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Gout By Bringing Down Your Uric Acid Levels
Being overweight increases your uric acid levels.
- Keep active.
- Keep going to the gym.
- Keep your weight down.
Some foods, such as red meat and seafood, increase your uric acid levels.
- Keep eating a healthy diet.
- Eat lots of vegetables and some fruit.
- Eat low fat yoghurt or cheese such as Edam.
- Eat only small amounts of red meat or seafood. Eat chicken and white fish.
- Eat takeaways only once a week.
Alcohol, sugary soft drinks and fruit juice increase uric acid levels.
- Keep drinking water, coffee and tea, diet soft drinks and lite blue and green milk.
- Dont drink too much beer, RTDs or other alcohol.
- Dont drink sugary drinks such as energy drinks, ordinary soft drinks, orange juice and powdered drinks.
What Foods Should You Stay Away From
A gout-friendly diet will aid in the regulation of uric acid levels in the body while also improving general health.
Gout can be caused by consuming an excessive amount of the following foods:
- Animal-based foods
- High-fructose drinks
All of these foods are high in purine. Keeping this in mind, a gout diet should avoid or limit the following foods.
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Using Tart Cherry Juice For Gout
Tart cherry juice may help decrease uric acid levels and inflammation in gout. Research is limited, with often small numbers of study participants and short-term follow-up.
Nevertheless, a 2019 review of six studies that looked at the effect of cherry juice or cherry extract intake on gout concluded that cherry intake was associated with a reduced risk of gout attacks. Researchers did note that larger, more long-term studies are needed to clarify this association.
When choosing tart cherry juice, be sure to look for unsweetened varieties to help reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Practice Mindfulness And Meditation
The good news: A gout attack is self-limited and will clear in time. In the meantime, according to the Arthritis Foundation, meditation, yoga breathing, mindfulness, and guided imagery can help you deal with the pain.
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Gout Is Caused By A Buildup Of Uric Acid In Your Body
- Uric acid mostly comes from the breakdown of cells in your body. The remainder comes from chemicals called purines that are in your food.
- Normally, your kidneys filter uric acid from your blood and flush it out of your body in urine .
- When uric acid levels in your blood are high, uric acid crystals form in your joints. These crystals cause pain, inflammation and lumps .
Is My Diet Responsible For My Gout
Gout is mainly caused by your body not getting rid of uric acid properly. This could be because of your genes, your weight or kidney problems. Diet has a much smaller role in causing your gout . But if you notice certain foods or drinks trigger your gout attacks, you may benefit from cutting down the amounts of these in your diet.
Follow these dos and don’ts to help reduce gout attacks:
|If you are overweight, get to a healthy weight. Exercise regularly, except during a gout attack. Keep eating a healthy diet. Eat lots of vegetables and some fruit. Eat at least 2 servings of low-fat dairy products every day. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.||Try crash diets that cause rapid weight loss. Dont drink too much beer, RTDs or other alcohol. Dont drink sugary drinks such as energy drinks, ordinary soft drinks, orange juice or powdered drinks. Eat full-fat dairy products.|
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Know Your Uric Acid Level And Aim For It To Be Less Than 036 Mmol/l
- If you have two or more attacks of gout per year, medication to lower the uric acid level in the blood is recommended along with regular blood testing.
- The goal of treatment is to reduce the blood uric acid level below 0.36 mmol/L.
- If this low level is maintained, the gout crystals gradually dissolve, and gout attacks will be prevented.
- If you are prescribed medications to reduce the uric acid, take these every day, even when you are feeling well.
- The most common medication for this is allopurinol which stops uric acid forming.
- This medicine must be taken long term, often for years, to lower your uric acid into the normal range, and keep it there.
- Once this occurs, further attacks of gout will be prevented, as long as the medicine is continued.
Take Care Of Yourself
Get regular exercise and stay at a healthy weight. If you’re overweight or obese, your body has more uric acid. Weight loss may help lower it.
Get other health conditions under control. Gout is linked with high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and kidney disease. If you have any of those problems, get treatment.
Ask your doctor if you need to make changes to the medications you take. Aspirin, diuretics for high blood pressure, and drugs for people whoâve had an organ transplant can trigger gout. Your doctor can help you find other alternatives.
Drink more fluids. You may lower your odds of gout if you drink at least eight glasses of fluids a day. Make sure that at least half of that is water.
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Managing A Gout Flare
Gout flares are unexpected and painful heres how to get a handle on them.
Few things in life are more painful than a gout flare, so if youre awakened in the wee hours by a joint that is tender, swollen, red and radiating heat, youll want to act fast. Heres what you can do when a gout flare starts to ease the pain and reduce the risk of others.
Take Medicine You Have on Hand. Start treatment immediately with over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen , but never take aspirin, which can worsen a flare. If you have had a flare before and your doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication to take in the event of another, take your prescribed medication as your doctor directed. If you are already taking a uric acid-lowering drug to reduce the risk of flares, continue to take that drug.
Ice Down. Applying an ice pack to the painful joint may help ease pain and inflammation. Wrap a pack in a dish cloth and apply to the area for 20- to 30-minutes at a stretch several times a day.
Let your doctor know what is going on right away. She may prescribe a new medication, or have you come to the office for a joint fluid test or an injection of a corticosteroid to start relieving inflammation quickly. Getting treatment within the first 24 hours of the start of a flare can lessen its length and severity.
Get a Cane. Walking with a cane during an acute gou flare can help keep pressure off your painful joint.
What If Changing Your Diet Isnt Enough
Some people manage to get their uric acid levels under control by changing their diet. But many people will need to take medication. Most of the uric acid in your body is made inside your body, so changing your diet only has a limited effect. Treatment with medication is considered if the gout attacks are frequent or if you have complications like kidney stones or tophi.
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What Role Do Purines Play
An estimated 70% of uric acid in the blood is made inside the body. This means that even by following a strict low-purine diet, it will only be possible to lower uric acid levels by 30% at the most. But not all foods are the same: Our bodies absorb purines differently from different foods, so it might not make sense to avoid all foods that contain purines especially if you already eat a balanced diet. There are no high-quality studies on the effectiveness of strict low-purine diets. Besides, they can be quite difficult to stick to.
How Common Is Gout And Who Develops It
Gout affects about 1 in 100 adults. Men are more commonly affected than women. A first attack of gout typically develops in middle age but it sometimes occurs in younger people. It tends to run in some families, as there is a family history of gout in about 1 in 5 cases. It may be that the genetic makeup that you inherit from your family may be a factor in becoming an under-excreter of uric acid .
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How Do Animal Proteins Have An Effect On Individuals With Gout
Studies analyzing the connection between weight-reduction plan and gout present that individuals who habitually eat purine-rich meals like meat and seafood have greater uric acid ranges. This is because of the truth that animal proteins are inclined to comprise massive portions of purines. Because purine accumulation may end up in elevated quantities of uric acid, its higher to keep away from or strictly restrict them.
These meals are excessive in purines and ought to be consumed carefully:
- Avoid beer and distilled liquors
Take Your Gout Medication Regularly
In addition to the strategies described above, a doctor will usually recommend taking a prescription medication, such as allopurinol, that is proven effective in preventing gout attacks.
Allopurinol and other medications that lower the uric acid can have several benefits, including reducing gout flares, improving function and quality of life, increasing productivity at work, decreasing sick-days from work, and reducing gout-associated cost. Like most drugs, the long-term use of prescription gout medications carries a small potential of side effects and health risks.9 You should discuss the potential benefits and risks with your provider.
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