Take Control of Your Uric Acid
Gout seems to be one of those conditions that you have no control of. One moment you’re having a nice, sumptuous dinner, then a few hours later, you’re in bed sleeping soundly, and boom! A sudden pain hits your foot. It’s a gout attack and you’re then left limping for the next several days.
Of course, gout being uncontrollable is not true. It’s a totally manageable condition. The only problem is that patients often have to go through pain in order to find out what foods triggered it. This can be a very excruciating process.
In order to avoid it, patients can visit the doctor regularly to have their uric acid checked. Uric acid is the byproduct of purines breaking down in the body.
All food has purines, some have high while some have low. Gout patients are advised to avoid high purine food items such as shellfish, processed foods, organ meats, sugary beverages, and alcohol.
Some of the healthiest foods have purines too like broccoli, spinach, and asparagus. However, they are not as harmful as the ones we mentioned above. Despite having moderate amounts of purines, you can still consume fruits and vegetables without guilt because they don’t negatively impact gout sufferers.
A gout diet consists of eating whole foods that are low in purines. You can still enjoy your fruits and vegetables but be watchful if you react negatively to certain fruits and veggies. You can still eat seafood but avoid shellfish as these are very high in purines. Meat is also allowed but opt for lean meat and white meat. You’ll want to limit red meat and organ meats as these can trigger a gout attack as well.
Low-fat dairy and cheese is good for gout since it can have a uric-acid lowering effect on the body. As for alcohol, beer is the top worst offender for gout patients. But that doesn’t mean you can go on consuming other kinds. Your safest bet is red wine as this has been found to have the least harmful effect on gout.
Only 20% of uric acid comes from purines while the rest is a result of the body’s natural breakdown and rebuilding of tissue. If you have healthy kidneys, your body should be able to eliminate uric acid efficiently. But if your kidneys are in poor health, you might find it hard to get rid of that excess uric acid. There are also those whose bodies produce too much uric acid. This is why some patients, no matter how hard they try to do a low purine diet, they still end up having a high uric acid, putting them at risk for a gout attack.
This is where gout medication comes in. Gout medication is highly recommended for gout sufferers but they’re especially important for patients who are not able to remove uric acid or are producing excess amounts of uric acid. Depending on how severe your condition is, your doctor will recommend a certain dose to help with the reduction of uric acid.
Gout and Exercise
Exercise is another way you can control your uric acid. We talked about how certain people’s natural body processes make it hard for them to eliminate uric acid or they are producing too much. Often times, these patients are overweight or obese. To help with that, they can include exercise in their daily routine. Exercise will help them remove that excess weight that is also the cause of excess uric acid.
Not only that but exercise also helps gout patients to have stronger joints. Stronger joints mean less gout attacks. And if you do have a gout attack, you are not at a risk of damaging your joints from the uric acid crystals.
Monitoring Your Uric Acid Levels
You can take control of your health by visiting the doctor regularly to have your uric acid checked. A healthy level of uric should be below 6.0 mg/dL. The only problem is that this method can be a hassle. Doctor fees are not cheap, and it can be hard to get to an appointment each time especially if you live far away from their clinic.
Thankfully, we have new innovations that allow us to do these health tests at home. One of them is UriTouch. UriTouch lets you measure your uric acid with convenience since you simply have to use the strips. No need to make drives to the doctor’s clinic or do a blood draw. Simply take out a strip and get your uric acid levels right there.
Uritouch allows you to keep an eye on uric acid every day. Something that gout sufferers wish they could do to avoid a gout attack. In addition to knowing what your uric acid level is, you can also determine whether the medication you have been prescribed works for you. You can then speak with your doctor about your results so they can make changes accordingly.