Gout typically manifests as painful inflammation and swelling in joints due to an excess of uric acid in the body. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate symptoms of gout through lifestyle changes and self-management.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a proven way to reduce your risk of developing gout. In fact, a recent study revealed that obese individuals who reduced their calorie-intake and began exercising had lower levels of uric acid. Furthermore, weight-loss reduces additional pressure on joints that could also be causing pain and inflammation.
Aside from general weight loss, it’s beneficial to follow a purine-restricted diet which can help control uric acid levels. Foods high in purines include red meat, organ meat, seafood, and alcohol.
A diet that is rich in nutrients from a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains can help reduce your risk of a gout attack. Lean proteins such as chicken or tofu are also healthy options. Ultimately, it is beneficial to avoid highly-processed foods. Aim to select foods that have ingredients you can pronounce! Consuming large quantities of processed snack foods and sugary sodas can make losing weight difficult. A nutrient-dense diet will also give you the energy you need to live an active lifestyle.
Although dietary changes can help reduce your risk for a gout attack, it’s not a sure-fire cure. Medication may still be necessary and it’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider.
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