Living With Gout- What you can Do to Decrease Symptoms and Pain
For individuals who have been diagnosed with gout, treatment options can seem somewhat limited. Prescription drugs are commonly offered, but each has a special array of side effects and few actually offer longterm alleviation. There may certainly be times when medications are needed to help control inflammation or to decrease uric acid within the body, but true gout treatment requires more than this. Today we will look at some advice for living with gout without becoming a slave to the condition.
Can Gout be Prevented?
This is a common question for many who are new to gout treatment or who have been recently diagnosed. While there is no known cure for gout, preventative measures can go a long way in reducing symptoms and increasing the number of days in which you can be free of pain and swelling.
Creating a Gout Friendly Diet
While only about a tenth of the uric acid in the body comes from your diet, eating the right foods can make a big difference. Because uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines, avoiding foods that are high in these can make a significant difference. Liver, kidneys, along with other wood foods are incredibly full of purines, as are fish such as anchovies and sardines. You will also find that most other meats and fish are usually high in purines also. Although dairy products also contain higher than average purine counts, research shows that dairy foods can actually reduce the risk of developing gout.
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Exercise as Well as Lifestyle Moderation as Part of Preventative Gout Treatment
While exercising or even walking during a painful flare of gout may be excruciating and is certainly not recommended, proper activity in the absence of symptoms can do much to increase the effectiveness of gout treatment. Even moderate exercise, such as walking or gardening, can reduce stiffness and increase both strength and range of motion in the affected joints. Research also shows that exercising regularly helps to increase the body's tolerance for pain, although again it is important to keep in mind that exercising a joint that is inflamed is certainly not medically advised.
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Lifestyle changes also can do a great deal in helping to reduce the appearance and harshness of gout symptoms. Reducing or eliminating alcohol intake is crucial, as alcohol greatly increases the risk of high uric acid levels, and you will find that eliminating cigarettes can be equally important. Maintaining a healthy body weight can also help remove unnecessary stress on the joints, while the right diet can also decrease uric acid intake.
The main point here is that gout treatment is and should be about much more than simply taking prescription medications. While there will likely be times that these are necessary for symptom management, there is no substitute for prevention. Learning as much as possible about living with gout is always a wise decision, and you will find that there is much that can be done to reduce your symptoms.