Lifestyle Tips to Help Make Living With Gout Easier
From cutting out sugar to learning your triggers, below are the seven best ways to make living with gout easier.
1. Say Goodbye to Sugar
Quitting sugar can be hard, but if you want to continue living an easier life with gout, sugar has to go. Sugar may be low in purines, but it feeds yeast in the body which in turn affects your gout symptoms.
Not only is it addictive but it’s hard to avoid too since most items you see in the supermarket have sugar in them. The trick is to look at the label. Always check the label for sugars or high fructose corn syrup as these ingredients increase your uric acid levels.
If you’re craving for sweets, have some healthy alternatives nearby like fruits. Not only are they naturally sweet but they also possess nutrients which are good for your body.
2. Avoid Processed Meats and Organ Meats
Processed meats are filled with unhealthy hormones and antibiotics which are processed into acid in our system. You also want to avoid organ meats like kidney, liver, brains, and heart as well as oily fish like sardines, and anchovies. All these are high in uric acid which is very bad for your gout.
3. Reduce Alcohol, Especially Beer
You want to avoid alcohol – especially beer. It dehydrates the body and raises uric acid levels in the blood due to its high purine content. Studies show that drinking beer increases the frequency and intensity of gout attacks.
Prevent flares from happening by by avoiding alcohol when you can and limiting consumption. If you must drink, opt for wine.
4. Follow a Gout-friendly Diet
Diet is key when it comes to managing gout. Here is the list of foods recommended for gout sufferers:
- High-fiber, low-calorie foods. High-fiber foods help you keep a healthy weight. Examples of high-fiber foods include spinach, leafy greens, peas, cauliflower, mushrooms, and asparagus
- Fresh berries and cherries. Berries neutralize uric acid in the body
- Wild caught fish. Wild caught fish are rich in omega-3 which reduce inflammation and pain
- Complex carbs. Limit refined carbs and go for complex carbs found in fruits, veggies, whole grains, whole wheat pasta, and rice
- Olive oil. Use olive oil whenever you can and avoid using unhealthy cooking oils like canola or vegetable oil
More foods that are healthy and generally safe for gout sufferers:
- Green tea
- Herbs and spices
- Coconut oil
The following foods are also good for gout but should be limited:
- Fresh or canned salmon
5. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water not only keeps you hydrated but also keeps the gout attacks at bay. It helps dilute excess uric acid in the body and helps the kidneys flush it out through your urine.
Obesity greatly increases your risk of gout. If you are obese or overweight, exercise can help you lose that excess weight and reduce the likelihood of gout attacks. Exercise is also good for your bones and joints. Make sure to insert 30 minutes of exercise at least three times per week to keep your joints healthy and to achieve that ideal weight.
7. Learn Your Triggers
As mentioned earlier, gout is a condition that can vary by person. What triggers one person’s gout may not necessarily trigger yours. Observe the food items that worsen your gout and do your best to eliminate them from your diet.
Experiment with the alternative treatments suggested above, and don’t hesitate to do research on your own. While doing so, you might just find the perfect combination of diet, medication, and lifestyle changes that work best in treating your symptoms.
Most of these tips involve cutting out certain items from your diet.
It’s hard in the beginning, but the idea of not experiencing the excruciating pain of a gout attack is often enough motivation to stay away from these bad foods and follow a disciplined, healthy lifestyle.
Your success greatly depends on how well you are at maintaining these lifestyle habits.