Don’t Invite Gout to Your Holiday Table: Gout Management Tips from Our South Park Podiatrist

December 10, 2019

The holidays mean plenty of fatty meats, breads, puddings, and pies (not to mention all the candy and Christmas cookies.) But if you suffer from gout, nothing ruins Christmas as much as a gout attack that puts you in bed while everyone else is celebrating. In today’s post, our South Park foot doctor discusses some foods that can trigger gout attacks, and some foods to choose instead. 

Gout: “The Disease of Kings”

There’s a reason why gout is sometimes called “the disease of kings.” Foods that commonly trigger gout attacks are foods that royalty typically consumed to excess, such as: 

  • Red meats (especially bacon and liver)
  • Seafood (especially sardines and mussels) 
  • Alcohol (especially beer) 
  • Bread and foods that contain yeast 
  • Sweets containing high-fructose corn syrup

These foods all contain a high amount of purines, a naturally-occurring substance that produces uric acid when it is digested. For those who do not suffer from gout, uric acid is not a problem, as the body can quickly remove it. However, gout sufferers are unable to efficiently remove excess uric acid from the body, causing it to accumulate, crystallize and settle in the joints.

How You Can Still Enjoy a Gout-Friendly Holiday

A diet free of meat, seafood, alcohol and bread might sound like a miserable Christmas—but fortunately there are still some treats you can enjoy without worrying about flare-ups. 

  • Asparagus and Spinach: Studies have shown that vegetables high in purines, such as asparagus and spinach, don’t increase the risk of gout or recurring gout attacks. However, be sure to use low-fat butter, if any.  
  • Wine: Moderate consumption of wine doesn’t appear to increase the risk of gout attacks. Beer and hard liquor are much more risky. 
  • Coffee: Some research suggests that drinking coffee in moderation, especially regular caffeinated coffee, may be associated with a reduced risk of gout. Drinking coffee may not be appropriate if you have other medical conditions, so ask a podiatrist or doctor if caffeine will interfere with other treatments.  
  • Cherries. There is some evidence that eating cherries is associated with a reduced risk of gout attacks.

Our most important tip is to consume water, water, water! It’s amazing what a difference simply keeping hydrated can make. Eight 8-ounce glasses a day is the typical recommendation. 

Be Prepared: Make Sure to See Your South Park Podiatrist Early!  

Picture this: It’s Christmas day, and your diet over the past week has not been ideal. You reach for the medicine cabinet but realize you are out of your gout medication. Your foot doctor may be hard to contact, and pharmacy hours are limited. You can avoid this scenario by making sure you schedule an appointment with a South Park foot doctor before the holidays hit. This will ensure you have the prescriptions you need and have them filled before holiday traffic is in full swing. To request an appointment with Ryan Foot and Ankle Clinic, fill out our contact form here