Gout is a horrible type of arthritis that can strike at any time but there are ways you can avoid flare ups and triggers by understanding what causes gout.
If you are constantly suffering from gout pain, then check out our advice below so you can find out how you can avoid triggering a flare up and continue living your life without worrying about a sudden flare up of your gout!
What Causes Gout?
The key to understanding what triggers gout flare ups is understanding what causes gout in the first place!
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden joint pain, discomfort, redness and inflammation. Most people experience gout in the foot but it is also possible to have gout in your knees, elbows, and hands too.
The cause of gout is the presence of lots of urate crystals in your joints. These crystals occur when you have abnormally high levels of uric acid in your blood.
Uric acid is naturally produced when our body breaks down purines that are found in common food sources. So, when our body breaks down purines, it naturally produces uric acid which flows in our blood.
Our kidneys sometimes cannot keep up with purging the uric acid we produce and thus, urate crystals form around our joints and cause gout.
So, a lot of them main ways you can avoid triggering a gout flare up involves avoiding purines – but how?
How To Avoid Triggering Gout Flare Ups
If you are a long-time sufferer of gout, then you will need to make some changes to your lifestyle in order to avoid triggering flare ups.
Your doctor will always give advice on what to change based on your unique circumstances, but here are some tips and tricks you can try to avoid the build up of urate crystals in your joints that trigger your gout flare up!
Make Some Adjustments To Your Diet
Following a healthy, balanced diet is a great way to avoid all kinds of health problems and complications – including gout flare ups!
Sticking to a diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates such as beans and whole grains, and low-fat dairy options, is a great way to help prevent causing a gout flare up.
You should also try to avoid foods that are high in purines as it is the breaking down of purines that causes our bodies to produce uric acid to begin with!
Foods that contain a lot of purines include meat (especially organ meats like liver), seafoods, and alcohol.
Alcohol is the one of the worst causes for gout and gout flare ups because not only does it contain lots of sugars that include purines, but it also helps your body inhibit the process to eliminate uric acid.
This means that alcohol is a huge source of gout – so it’s best to cut it out of your diet, or drink it in very small quantities to help prevent future flare ups of your gout pain.
Drink Plenty Of Water
The diet adjustments don’t just stop there – you should also avoid as many sugary foods and drinks as possible. This is because sugar contains a lot of purines and thus, sugary foods and drinks are some of the main causes of gout flare ups.
So, along with alcohol, you should try to cut out drinks like soda from your diet or drink within very small quantities.
Plain water is the best alternative as not only does it help you stay hydrated, water is also great for helping your body flush out any uric acid you produce and thus helps prevent any build up of urate crystals.
As for beverages like tea and coffee, both of these drinks are fine to keep in your diet but several cups a day is not recommended for multiple reasons.
However, tea and coffee are not causes of gout flare ups unless you are purposefully adding lots of sugar! Cut out the sugar if this is the case and remember to keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water.
Move, Move, Move
Living a sedentary lifestyle (that’s when you sit around all day and avoid regular exercise) is another huge cause of flare ups of gout.
So, this means that you should get up and get moving to help avoid any flare ups of your gout. You don’t even need to be aiming to lose weight!
What’s important is that you get up and move around, avoiding sitting in one place day after day.
This can be an issue if you have mobility limitations so try out some stretches and lifting exercises to work out the upper half of your body.
Research says that simply avoiding a sedentary lifestyle (even if losing weight is not your goal) is key to living a happier, healthier life so it’s important to try and fit between thirty and sixty minutes of movement and exercise every day.
This can greatly reduce your risk of a gout flare up so make this change to your lifestyle to see just how much this advice works for you!
Take Your Medication
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe you some medicine to help your body produce less uric acid and stop the build up of urate crystals in your joints. Such medication can include allopurinol.
If your doctor has prescribed your medication to help tackle your gout problems, then it’s super important that you take them as per your doctor’s instructions.
There are a lot of benefits to taking your gout medication as they can improve your quality of life day to day and reduce your chances of gout flare ups.
So, don’t think you can just use other methods of medicine – follow your doctor’s orders and if you have been prescribed medication for your gout, take it!
Gout can be a literal pain and seriously impact your quality of life. However, it’s not something you have to put up with all the time! Just follow the above advice and soon, you will soon see a difference!