They say that gout is the disease of kings, but it can happen to anyone.
When a person’s uric acid levels are no longer normal, he or she, whether rich or poor, may be afflicted with gout.
On paper, gout is a type of arthritis that happens when someone has too much uric acid in their blood that sharp crystals begin to form in one or more of their joints, allowing for severely painful attacks to happen at any moment.
In real life, there is so much more to living with gout. There are the attacks, the swelling, and the heavy feelings that come with them. There are simply so many things to take into consideration. It is definitely no easy task.
In order to manage and control the special conditions of this disease, someone living with gout has to have a solid treatment plan that involves more than just subscribing to the medicine the doctor advises.
Without further ado, here are ten tips on how to conquer gout like a boss.
1. Let Go of the Alcohol
While the cause of gout in one person depends on a case-to-case basis, it is universally accepted that there are specific food products and substances that will do no good for someone who suffers from gout. The first item on this list is alcohol.
The main thing to avoid when plagued with gout is purine.
Alcohol is filled with purines, otherwise known as the compound that produces uric acid when broken down by the body.
The body is supposed to have only a set amount of uric acid. When you take in alcohol, you add more uric acid than your body needs. When you do so to an excess, you create an imbalance in your system.
You are supposed to keep your uric acid levels as low as possible when you have gout. Drinking alcohol is not going to help make that happen. It is only going to make things worse for you.
Let it go, as they say. If you can’t, drink moderately instead. Your health is more important than having a fleeting good time.
Staying away from alcohol will surely help in avoiding future attacks, and greatly contribute to the healthier lifestyle needed to maintain a life with gout.
2. Say No to Soda
Alcohol is not the only drink you will need to make a conscious effort to avoid. You will have to regulate your intake of soda as well.
The super-sweet soda is also filled with purines. It is very unnatural, and it is not suitable to the diet of those who are living with gout.
It is the high levels of fructose in a single glass of soda that must worry you.
Studies have shown that people who drink sugary drinks such as soda are indeed more likely to have gout. This is because fructose increases serum acid levels, and disrupts the usual chemical makeup of the human body.
Anything that is too much is dangerous. When you are living with gout, a single glass can tip the scale.
Say no when someone offers you a soda. Special occasions should be just fine, but always remember that when you have been diagnosed with gout, your body is no longer like how it used to be.
3. Cut Down on the Sugar
If you can’t have high levels of concentrated fructose in but a single glass, you cannot have them in solid form either.
Candy and other sugary foods are a big no for people with gout. This is because within mere minutes from taking in such treats, your uric acid levels are sure to rise.
Excessive amounts of sugary foods are also often linked to other illnesses such as obesity and diabetes.
Contracting either of these diseases will not help someone who has gout. Rather, it will probably double someone who does not have gout’s risk of getting it.
Those who have both gout and obesity or diabetes are likely to have more frequent attacks than those who don’t. Heart problems, as well as other health concerns, may also become issues.
Dealing with gout alone is already enough of a challenge. Do yourself a favor and do not purposefully cause any more damage to your health.
4. Not So Fast, Food
We all know this. While fast food is generally not good for us, it is even more so for those with gout.
Just like excessive sugar, fast food can cause obesity and diabetes. This is because what it lacks in nutrition, it makes up for with sugar and other unhealthy components.
A lot of fast food products are usually deep-fried. The amount of oil in a single bite can cause irreparable damage to your stomach lining as well as other parts of your body.
Your acid levels are no longer the only issue here. When you eat fast food, your stomach, heart, and kidney are at risk as well. Think about that the next time your order something for takeout.
Fast food is almost as bad as sugar when it comes to the negative effects it can do to your body. Recognize this fact before it is too late.
If you must eat at a fast-food restaurant, opt for the healthier choices on the menu. If you can, prepare food for yourself instead.
Being more wary of how many calories you take in and what exactly it is you let inside your body will do wonders for your diet and how you manage your gout.
5. Regulate Your Pork
A balanced diet is very important. We all need our daily dose of protein. After all, they help build and repair the many parts of our body. Where better to find that than in some soft and tender pork?
Unfortunately for those with gout, while pork indeed contains valuable protein nutrients, its meat may contribute to the worsening of gout symptoms.
Pork is moderately high in purines. As such, whatever proteins you may get from it will most likely be overshadowed by the experience of possibly worse inflammation and the pitfalls of high cholesterol.
Limit the pork you take in if you don’t want to say goodbye to it completely. Brainstorm on healthier ways to prepare the pork for cooking as well.
Here is a pro tip: using olive oil instead of butter will significantly reduce the amount of fat in your serving of pork, and allow you to take more of it in proportion to what is compatible with your diet.
6. Don’t Gobble on Turkey
You would think that it will be safe for someone with gout to enjoy a slice of turkey when chicken and duck are lean meats and some of the healthiest options around. Sadly, that is not the case.
Turkeys and geese are actually higher in purines than other types of food. It is best for those with gout to consider themselves warned.
A slice of turkey is fine. A whole turkey is not.
It is all about portions when you are someone with gout who is looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Slices of chicken and duck when cooked right are still safe and should do you no harm.
7. Organ Meats Are Not Okay
Sweetbreads, livers, and tongues sure are tasty. However, they are also particularly high in purines.
Organs are made up of a more concentrated mass of tissues than the rest of the body. And so, livers, intestines, and other parts of the animal are richer than purines than the usual parts that make up its meat.
Like the other items on this list, eating a lot of organ meat can increase the levels of your acid and consequently trigger an attack. Know what is up!
It is the same rule of logic that shall apply. Red meats such as pork and beef have more purines than chicken and duck, and the chicken intestines more than its breast.
Whether you’re craving for beef, pork, or chicken, stick to the healthier slices of meat if you can. Treat yourself to pâté only ever so often. You will thank us afterward.
8. Know Your Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are known as simple or processed carbohydrates. They are food items or ingredients that have had their fibrous or nutritious parts removed.
Is butter a carb? Refined carbohydrates include white bread, pasta, and cakes.
What these food products have in common is the presence of a high glycemic index. They are often a lot easier to ingest than a carrot or some other vegetable. As a result, they are digested faster than other kinds of food as well.
This may be good news for those of us who would prefer to have an easy meal, but not necessarily for our bodies that will have to take them in. Filling your diet with these carbohydrates may lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar among many other things.
The low levels of nutrients and increased amounts of artificial components in refined carbohydrates give them a similar effect as that of sugar. From here, you can clearly see where this is going.
These seemingly harmless foods may lead you to the path of overeating, and increase your risk of other diseases. Gout is just one of these.
Gout-friendly diets typically exclude refined carbohydrates from their list of ingredients. If their use cannot be avoided, they should only be included in very small amounts.
9. Pass on Processed Foods
Stay away from the frozen dinner section of your local grocery store. Pass up on chips and other kinds of junk food as well.
If it is easy to get, and if it is also easy to take in, chances are it is not good for you.
The allure of frozen foods exists mostly because of how accessible they are. Know that they became this way through mechanical processes that can potentially be harmful to your body.
When you have gout, you must always seek to improve your health, lower your uric acid levels, and reduce your risk of attacks. Opting for junk food when you can have a salad is not the way to go.
Gout is actually one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. All you have to do is try. Take note of this list of foods to avoid, and incorporate them into your daily diet.
10. Exercise Frequently
A balanced diet is one thing. Keeping yourself active is another.
The effects of gout may feel paralyzing, but this is exactly why you should move even more.
When you are physically active, you are less susceptible to gout attacks. Even when they happen, those who are physically active are better able to deal with their pain than those who don’t.
Exercise is important when you have gout. Reduce your pain, increase your range of motion, and feel more energized. A little exercise can go a long way.
Manage your weight when you deal with gout. Reduce the uric acid levels in your blood as you do so, and you will lessen the risk of contracting other diseases as well.
It may not be easy to choose to invest in yourself, but it is always worth it.
There is no doubt about it. Living a healthy lifestyle can add years and even decades to your belt.
Do these tips sound like a walk in the park? If you put your mind to it, they certainly are!
A gout diagnosis is not a death sentence. Never think that there is nothing you can do when your doctor diagnoses you with gout.
You can’t predict when a gout attack will occur, and there are never really signs when they will, but you can prevent an attack from happening.
Living out a health-conscious life with these tips in mind can do just that and more. Don’t let gout tell you otherwise!
You are the boss of your body and your life.
Say “Not today, gout!” You can go for weeks, months, and years without an attack if you put in the effort.