Prevent Gout this Holiday Season


The holidays are a time for fun, festivities, and feasting. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, it’s also a time when we see more patients suffering from the arthritic condition of gout. What’s the connection? Gout is a painful inflammation of a joint, most often the one at the base of your big toe. It’s caused by an overabundance of uric acid which builds up in the joint and crystallizes. Uric acid forms when a chemical known as purines breaks down in the body. Certain foods and beverages—many of which are popular additions to holiday menus—are high in purines and are known to trigger an attack in a person who is prone to gout. High purine food and beverages include:

●        Red meat

●        Shellfish

●        Organ meats (such as liver and kidneys)

●        Rich sauces

●        Brandy

●        Red wine

●        Beer

For some people, beans and lentils may also be an issue.

Risk Factors for Gout

In addition to food and drink, there are other factors that increase your risk for a gout attack. On the list are:

●        Genetics (inherited tendency for gout)

●        Obesity

●        High blood pressure

●        Diabetes

●        Stress

●        Surgery

●        Chemotherapy

●        Certain vitamins and medications

Reducing Attacks

If you have had a gout attack in the past, you are more likely to have another one. The first step in preventing future bouts is to make an appointment at our nature coast offices in Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) to get your condition evaluated. Our podiatrists, Dr. Lawrence J. Hales and Dr. Alexis Kreplick, will help track down your gout triggers and prescribe treatment accordingly. For chronic gout suffers, maintenance medication is available.

Other steps you can take on your own are to drink plenty of fluids to help flush uric acid from your body and to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen. If you have questions about gout or other foot and ankle disorders, don’t hesitate to contact us.