How to Manage Gout During the Holiday Season (and Beyond!)

Matthew F Villani
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Dr. Matthew Villani provides expert foot care in Tavares, Altamonte Springs, and Lake Mary, FL.

The holidays are an interesting blend of family, friends, food, compassion, stress, and exhaustion. We all love spending time with the favorite people in our lives, and the holidays certainly provide many opportunities to do that. Of course, this also comes with an array of obligations like finding the perfect gifts, trying to keep everything scheduled, and preparing dishes for holiday celebrations.

Food has a starring role during this season, which can make it tough for those of you wondering how to manage gout. We will help you with this, but let’s start by looking at why gout management is so important.

Gout is an arthritic condition unique in the fact it is directly affected by dietary choices. This condition develops in response to heightened levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is a natural byproduct of food breakdown, but when the body either produces too much or is unable to remove it from the system, it builds up and ultimately settles and crystallizes in joints. The most commonly affected joint is the one found at the base of the big toe.Choosing the best foods with gout

Uric crystals have sharp edges, which can irritate the soft and connective tissues in this area, leading to periodic bouts of intense pain. The pain can be so severe that even a light bed sheet touching the inflamed area hurts and may keep you up at night!

Since this arthritic condition is connected to dietary choices, you may be wondering how to manage gout during this holiday season. Making the right dietary choices is key. This includes avoiding sweets, which (unfortunately) happen to be a staple of many holiday celebrations. You can help sidestep the temptation to indulge in holiday cookies, candies, and other sweets by filling up on healthy foods before any festivity or party. Eating whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, lean meats, and fresh veggies (and certain fruits) will fill you up while reducing your risk of a gout attack!

Other keys for managing gout during the holiday season, or any time of year, include:

  • Limiting the amount of organ meats, sardines, anchovies, and red meats you eat. These foods are high in purines.
  • Drinking plenty of the right kinds of fluids (like water) to keep hydrated.
  • Avoiding sweetened beverages, especially those containing fructose, which have been linked to higher risk of gout.
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, especially beer. However, moderate wine drinking does not appear to increase your risk of gout.

For additional information on gout management or professional treatment from any of our doctors, simply give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you call from Lake County). Our staff will be happy to answer any questions and arrange your visit at any of our five Florida locations – Orlando, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, and Mt. Dora. You can also use our convenient online form to request your appointment. Contact us now for the foot care you need.

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