Dietary Changes for Managing Gout

Did you know that you could be having a gout flare-up if your big toe swells? Gout is a type of arthritis that usually affects the health of the joint of your big toe. The experienced podiatrists at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers are skilled at diagnosing gout and helping you manage your condition. 

Our providers believe in the value of preventive care. We’ve curated this guide to help patients in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, make lifestyle changes now to reduce your risk factors for gout flare-ups and prevent long-term joint damage.

Read on to learn how dietary changes can help you manage gout

What is gout?

Gout is a painful form of arthritis. It causes swelling in the joint at the base of your big toe and creates the sensation that your big toe is burning. The inflammation in the joint also makes your big toe very sensitive to touch. As a result, even minor contact can trigger extreme pain.

Gout results because of excess uric acid in your body. Uric acid forms to break down purines, a substance found in the foods you eat. If your body makes too much uric acid or if you consume more than your kidneys can manage, it builds up and forms crystals that collect in your joints, causing gout.

Gout flare-ups are extremely painful and can significantly impact your quality of life. When you experience a flare-up, you may not be able to move or walk without pain, making it difficult to carry out daily activities, perform your work tasks, or stay active. 

What foods are linked to gout flare-ups?

Your body naturally produces uric acid to break down substances in the foods you eat. If you have gout, it’s important to reduce your risk for flare-ups by eating a healthy, low-purine diet.

High-purine foods increase the amount of uric acid your body produces. These foods are linked to gout flare-ups and include yeast, beer, game meats, organ meats, seafood, processed foods, and any foods made from refined carbohydrates, such as bread, cookies, muffins, etc. 

In addition, drinks sweetened with fructose or sugar are also known to increase uric acid levels even though they don’t contain purines. It’s best to eliminate these beverages and high-purine foods to keep gout flare-ups at bay and protect your joint health. 

What dietary changes can help manage gout?

While you may have to cut some foods out of your diet, the good news is that none of those foods are necessary for a healthy, well-balanced diet. There are many low-purine foods you can incorporate daily that not only help manage gout but are good for your overall wellness, too. 

Even high-purine vegetables don’t negatively impact gout. So eat your fill of a variety of vegetables, including dark, leafy greens, potatoes, and mushrooms. Foods rich in vitamin C are also helpful in reducing the levels of uric acid in your body. 

Other foods to add to your diet on a regular basis include:

It’s also important to maintain a healthy body weight and get regular, daily exercise. Avoid alcohol and stay hydrated with plenty of water and herbal tea. 

How can I learn more about managing gout?

To best manage gout, it’s important to have an accurate diagnosis. Your podiatrist at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers reviews your medical history and performs a physical examination of your feet while discussing your symptoms with you. A small sample of joint fluid may be examined for uric acid crystals to confirm your diagnosis.  

It’s important to seek treatment if you’re experiencing any symptoms of gout. If left untreated, gout causes chronic pain. In some cases, the joint may be permanently damaged and deposits of uric acid crystals can cause nodules under the skin. 

Your podiatrist works with you to create a customized treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes as well as other treatments, such as steroid medications and injections and medications to reduce swelling and the build-up of uric acid crystals. 

Interested in learning more about managing gout and how dietary changes can help? Contact the Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Center nearest you or request an appointment online now!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why You Should Never Ignore Diabetic Foot Ulcers

When you have diabetes, it’s important to take extra care of your feet. Even common blisters can have serious consequences if you develop a foot ulcer. Learn more about why paying attention to foot care should be high on your list.

Risk Factors for Developing Shin Splints

If you or someone you know has experienced the pain associated with shin splints before, you probably want to know how to avoid them. We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more about how shin splints develop and what you can to do avoid them.

Best Treatment Options for Plantar Warts

Foot pain can stem from a variety of causes. Pain in the sole of your foot may be the first indication you have a plantar wart. Find out what causes warts to develop and what options are available to relieve plantar wart pain.

5 Good Habits to Prevent Tendonitis

Whether you twist it, strain it, sprain it, or wrench it, your ankle joint is a frequent site for injury. But you can have ankle pain without an obvious injury. Tendonitis is one of the most common causes of ankle pain. Here’s how you can avoid it.

Getting Active Again After an ACL Injury

After an ACL injury, recovery can be a long haul. As you work to regain muscle strength to support your knee joint, don’t overlook the role your foot and ankle play in the process. Find out how our team of podiatrists can help speed up your ACL recovery.

Living With Plantar Fasciitis

Living with plantar fasciitis generally means you have to deal with pain that flares up routinely. But you don’t have to simply live with it. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, orthotics, and injections can all help.