Can You Prevent Gout Attacks?

a married woman holding her foot on a blue couch

This is a pretty common question I get because when you have gout, you want to do anything and everything you can to help ease the pain and discomfort, right? Even still, gout symptoms can get worse from time to time, resulting in gout attacks. You know when you're getting ready to fall asleep and that intense pain shoots through your body? Yeah, not fun.

So what can we actually do to help these gout attacks from happening? Can we even do anything at all? Well, maybe.

What is gout?

Gout is an extremely painful form of arthritis that can lead to long-term consequences for your overall health. Symptoms can arise without any warning, and they can stick around for weeks or even years. Gout tends to impact the big toe, but it can also occur in other joints as well, like your knees, ankles, fingers, and other toes.

Symptoms can include:

  • Intense and sudden pain
  • Joint discomfort that lingers even after the severe pain subsides
  • Inflammation or redness in the affected joint(s)
  • Joint stiffness

Gout is most commonly found in men between the ages of 30 and 50, but there are certain things that can put you at a higher risk for getting gout or triggering gout attacks.

What things can trigger gout attacks?

 Gout attacks can be brought on by a few different triggers:

  • Consuming drinks that contain high-fructose corn syrup, like soda or certain juices
  • Eating foods that are rich in purines, like seafood, shellfish, bacon, turkey, or veal
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight or having a higher body mass index
  • Not drinking enough water. Being dehydrated can intensify your gout symptoms.

Can you really prevent gout attacks?

Though you can't completely eliminate gout from your life (which sucks, I know), there are some things you can do to help reduce potential gout attacks by following some of these tips:

How can you stop the pain when you do have a gout attack?

If you are having a gout attack, there are also some things you can do to help manage your pain:

  • Keep pressure off of your joint(s)
  • Elevate your joint(s)
  • Use an icepack to help reduce swelling
  • Drink water to stay hydrated
  • Take a pain reliever
  • Try to relax. Stress can aggravate gout.

 

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