Gout is actually one of the most controllable forms of arthritis as long as you follow medical advice and a diet to lower uric acid levels.
In this article we will be taking a look at foods to avoid with gout flare up, but what exactly is gout???
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What is Gout?
Gout is is a type of arthritis that creates high levels of pain and inflammation within one or more joints. It is brought on by a chemical in the blood, called uric acid.
Uric acid itself really isn’t that harmless and is constructed inside your body, it is usually released through urine and stools.
Unfortunately gout sufferers see a build up of uric acid within their blood that leads to tiny grit-like crystals forming.
These uric acid-based crystals tend to hang on to joints and irritate the tissues. This then leads to inflammation, pain and quite severe swelling.
So why do certain people see a build up of uric acid in their bodies?
This is usually down to the fact that their kidneys do not pass out enough uric acid and the blood level may rise. But there can be other reasons behind your build up of this acid…
- Like a drink or two? Too much alcohol can bring on high levels of uric acid.
- Levels also rise when there is not enough vitamin C in your system.
- Fancy a can of 7-Up or Coke? These fizzy drinks contain high levels of fructose which is also known to raise levels of uric acid.
- Water tablets, or diuretics, can be behind the rise in uric acid. Aspirin is also know to have a similar effect on the body.
The Foods to avoid with a Gout Flare up…
If you are currently suffering with gout, these are the foods you should be thinking about putting in your shopping trolly…
- Skimmed milk
- Dairy products that are known to be low fat (cottage cheese, yogurt etc.)
- Foods which are listed as ‘whole grain products’ or made with ‘whole wheat flour’
- Plant oils and vegetables
- Various forms of vitamin C (those simple supplements of 500g work wonders!)
- Six packs of bottled mineral water (plenty of water in your diet at all times!)
And these are the foods you should really consider staying away from…
- Organ meats and red meats like liver, heart or tongue
- Refined carbohydrate-based foods (various brands of white bread, rice or sugar)
- ALL processed foods (easier said than done – I know!)
- Fizzy drinks like soda
- Alcoholic drinks – the one we all struggle with 🙂
During a Flare up
Don’t forget that during a pain-ridden gout flare up, it’s important to protect your joints. This means as much rest as possible and try your best to stay off your feet.
Try keeping the effected foot elevated with a couple of pillows beneath it and wrap with an ice pack for 20 to 30 minutes at a time (3 to 4 times a day if possible!).
If you don’t mind the loss of ‘street cred’ – use a cane when walking outdoors.
Fabric can sometimes feel like a stone against a gout-infected foot so consider cutting a couple of toes out of your sock. It’s also a good idea to leave that foot outside of the blanket when you sleep at night!