Gout refers to a type of arthritis in which uric acid, a material your body produces as it processes certain foods, does not exit the body and instead crystallizes and collects within the joints. This results in pain and inflammation in these parts of your body, which often occurs in your big toe.
Gout discomfort can come and go, but when symptoms grow severe, podiatrists refer to this incident as an attack. Your foot doctor cannot cure gout, but they can help you manage your condition and prevent attacks.
One way to fight gout is to pay attention to your diet, as certain foods will impact this condition. Read on to learn which foods can help you manage your uncomfortable gout symptoms and which might trigger an attack.
Limit Purine-Rich Foods
Purine is the substance found in many foods that causes the body to produce uric acid. An abundance of uric acid will be retained by the body and may manifest as gout. So eating high amounts of purine can lead to a painful gout attack.
When you know which foods feature these high levels of purine, you can adjust your diet so that you do not unknowingly trigger a gout attack. Animal meats, especially red meats, oily fish, and organ meats, will feature high purine. Sugary foods and beverages, like soft drinks, candy, and baked goods, can also contribute to great amounts of uric acid production.
Another source of high purine comes from yeast extract, often found in pre-packaged foods like frozen dinners and canned soups. Alcohol and caffeine can also trigger gout pain, so consult with a doctor before indulging in these items. Talk to a podiatrist to evaluate your unique case and medical history and learn how diet impacts your foot health.
Consume a Balanced Diet
Though some foods and beverages may increase your risk of gout, the key to maintaining good health with gout is eating a healthy and balanced diet. Avoiding certain food items can help, but you should stay healthy by eating plenty of types of food.
Eat a good amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Consider plant-based sources of protein, like legumes, to further reduce purine in your diet while gaining other good nutrients.
Health experts connect obesity with a higher risk of gout. So adhering to a healthy diet can be a good way to lose weight and further manage gout symptoms. Limiting saturated fats will help you remain healthy and fight gout. Learn more by speaking to your doctor about your symptoms.
If you do suffer a gout attack, relieve pain by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. Resting and icing the affected area can relieve symptoms too.
A foot doctor might also recommend regular exercise and other lifestyle changes to reduce your likelihood of a gout attack. They may prescribe medication in some cases. You can find a treatment that suits your specific needs when you meet with a podiatrist.