Healing Your Feet of Gout at Home
For those who suffer from gout, it’s hard to imagine a more painful, debilitating condition of the lower extremities. Gout is a condition that occurs when serum uric acid levels become too great, leading to formation of uric acid crystals in the joints of the feet, toes, ankles, and knees. The crystals can cause extreme swelling, inflammation, and pain in the affected area, and gout can even lead to eventual damage of cartilage and connective tissues in the impacted joint that must be diagnosed and treated by a foot and ankle doctor. Many liken the pain of gout to the sensation of hundreds of red-hot needles penetrating the joint, which is an unpleasant feeling to say the least.
The root cause of gout is tied to several factors that lead to the concentration of uric acid in the bloodstream. For example, dehydration, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, and other related factors can lead to the onset of gout. In some cases, it can take weeks for the patient to see a return to normal activities. Therefore, management of gout is critical to maintaining a pain-free unrestricted lifestyle. With care from a foot doctor in The Woodlands, TX, and careful management of risk factors, it’s possible for sufferers of gout to avoid its adverse effects. Keep reading to learn how you can prevent gout and reduce the severity of the outbreaks that you do experience.
Modify Your Diet
There are some specific foods that act as triggers for gout by inundating your system with purines, molecules that are found in all living things. Some foods have high concentrations of those purines, which are broken down into uric acid by the liver in humans. Therefore, it’s important for gout sufferers to avoid those purine-rich foods. That list includes fried foods, red meat, shellfish, organ meats, dairy products, and beer. Instead of these foods, eat a diet that is rich in fresh vegetables, lean proteins such as white chicken and fish, and whole grains.
In Texas, it’s tough to stay hydrated during the hottest months of the summer. The unrelenting ambient heat leads to significant fluid loss, and if that hydration isn’t routinely replaced throughout the day, dehydration can strike. Dehydration can cause the concentration of serum uric acid levels to spike, which can bring on a gout flare. The problem is well recognized among orthopedic physicians who refer to the summer as “gout season.” Drink additional water in the summer months to ward off gout symptoms.
Since the root cause of gout symptoms is a concentration of uric acid in the blood stream, some sufferers of gout have success by alkalizing their systems. Those with diets high in fresh vegetables have increased alkalinity, but you can also balance your inner pH by ingesting bicarbonate of soda or electrolytes dissolved in drinking water. While you should consult with your physician before beginning a bicarbonate regimen, ingesting alkalizing agents can help balance your body’s pH levels and keep uric acid at bay.
There are many natural remedies that can help you conquer gout flares and avoid severe symptoms. Cherries are one of the most powerful weapons against gout. They have been proven to neutralize the effect of uric acid on joints throughout the body. Research indicates that cherries, in any form, taken three times over two days can prevent a gout flare and ward off symptoms. Cherries can be consumed whole, in juice form, or as supplements in capsule form. Ginger attacks gout on two fronts by reducing inflammation in the joints and lowering serum levels of uric acid. Turmeric is another powerful anti-inflammatory that can be enlisted against gout, particularly when it’s blended with unfiltered apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Apples can be employed as gout fighters as well, as the malic acid in apples is a potent anti-gout compound and the pectin in apples can help bind uric acid and flush it from the system.
If you suffer from the effects of gout, there’s a great deal you can do to prevent gout flares and reduce the severity of those that can’t be avoided. To learn more about how you can win your personal battle with gout, contact Ankle & Foot Specialists of Conroe & The Woodlands by calling (936) 271-3668.