Gout: The Hidden Danger of Holiday Festivities
The holiday season is full of rich and hearty foods, drinks and parties. But over-indulging in the holiday spirit can also cause a not-so-merry gout attack.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that typically occurs in one joint, like the ankle, heel or within the joint of the big toe. Uric acid accumulates in the joints and then crystalizes, which then causes inflammation.
If you’ve suffered from gout in the past, be sure to stay away from foods that are high in purines, like organ meats (liver and kidneys), other meats (bacon, pork, beef and lamb), game meats, anchovies, sardines, gravy and beer. These types of foods will only aid in uric acid build-up and contribute to a gout flare-up.
You are also more likely to suffer from gout if you:
- Have a family history of gout
- Are male
- Are overweight
- Consume large amounts of alcohol
- Consume a lot of foods that are high in purines
- Suffer from an enzyme defect where your body has trouble breaking down purines
- Have been exposed to lead in the environment
- Have undergone an organ transplant
- Taking certain medicines such as diuretics, aspirin, cyclosporine, or levodopa
- Take the vitamin niacin
If you’re suffering from gout in your foot or ankle, there are treatments available to help alleviate your pain. Changes in your diet, increasing the amount of fluids, elevation, immobilization and medications can help reduce the severity and eliminate your gout attack. But speak to a podiatrist first to determine the best route for recovery in your specific situation.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Wagoner, DPM is a podiatrist at Triad Foot Center, a Cone Health Medical Group practice.