Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Four Ways to Avoid a Gout Attack

More than eight million Americans live with gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. While women do get it, men are much more likely to develop the condition.

Gout occurs when uric acid, a waste product created from the breakdown of purines in food, builds up in your joints. The result is flare-ups or attacks that cause pain and inflammation. You’re most likely to get an attack in your big toe, although it can also affect joints in your knees, elbows, fingers, and wrists.

Gout attacks are often intense enough that they derail your entire day. If you’ve experienced the agony of an attack, it’s only natural that you want to prevent it from happening again. There’s no full proof way to prevent 100% of gout attacks. However, stopping your uric acid levels from rising too high does a good job of slashing how often you get attacks and lowering their intensity when they do occur.

At Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers, we’ve seen how painful and disruptive gout can be for our patients. So we’ve put together four strategies you can use to keep gout attacks at bay.

Nix sugary sodas

Sweetened carbonated beverages have a dramatic impact on how your body handles uric acid. When your body makes uric acid from purines in the foods you eat, your kidneys take the brunt of the responsibility for filtering it out of the body. The acids and fructose in sugary sodas interfere with this process.

Studies show that drinking two sugary drinks a day increases the risk of gout by a whopping 85%. Even a moderate intake of one soda or less a day majorly boosts your risk. Make a commitment to cutting soda out of your diet and replace it with healthier beverages to stave off gout attacks.

Wash away gout with water

Stopping the next gout attack may be as simple as stepping up your water intake. Water consumption is crucial for people living with gout, and research shows drinking water effectively prevents gout attacks. Water dilutes uric acid crystals and makes the amount in your blood less concentrated.

Even mild dehydration is all that’s needed to trigger a gout attack. Studies show that at least 64 ounces of water, that’s eight glasses, helps keep gout attacks away. If you tend to forget to drink, carry a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day. It could mean the difference between waking up in agony and starting your day off pain-free.

Know your number

A persistently high uric acid level almost guarantees you’ll get gout at some point. Work with Dr. Kazmer to regularly check the amount of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid crystals start to dissolve when you keep your level below 6 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) and your risk of an attack goes down.

Adopt a gout-friendly diet

Discuss your diet with Dr. Kazmer and create a list of red flag foods to avoid. The purine content of foods varies widely. Avoiding foods that are very high in purines helps manage uric acid levels and reduces the risk of an attack.

High-fat dairy products, wild game like venison and duck, and some types of seafood such as sardines, herring, scallops, and anchovies are rich in purines and should be added to the red flag list.

If diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough to get your gout under control, Dr. Kazmer may recommend medication to bring your uric acid level down. Keeping your level within a safe range keeps gout attacks at bay.

If your gout is out of control, it doesn’t have to be. To prevent the next gout attack and get effective treatment, call our office or use our online booking form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kazmer at one of our Chicago area offices.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Pregnancy's Effect on Your Feet

Your belly is growing, your cheeks are glowing, and your whole body is changing with your pregnancy — even your feet. Find out what changes you might notice with your feet while you’re expecting.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Feet This Summer

Summer is here, and it’s time to shed the heavy coats and ditch the snow shovels. But as you trade in your boots for flip flops, you’ll need to take extra care of your feet. Here are some tips for keeping your feet in top shape.

Caring for Arthritic Feet

We all get tired feet now and then, but if the joints in your feet are sore more often than not, you may have arthritis. Fortunately, the pain of arthritis doesn't have to linger indefinitely. Here are some tips for caring for your aching feet.

5 Common Causes of Ankle Pain

While ankle pain is common, when left untreated, many conditions can lead to long-term pain and recurring problems. Don’t ignore ankle pain — instead, learn its causes and get the treatment you need to protect your mobility and quality of life.

Living With Plantar Fasciitis

If you live with plantar fasciitis, you may be wondering what you can do about it. Is surgery your only hope? Most people get lasting relief from plantar fasciitis pain through nonsurgical treatment and lifestyle changes. Learn how you can, too.