Could It Be Gout?

Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Halftime takes 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence.
Erma Bombeck
It is now common knowledge that the average American gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Marilu Henner
Thanksgiving is next week.  While it is a beautiful time to spend with family and friends, it also can be a time when a bit too much rich food and drink is consumed. For some, that will lead to an encounter with gout.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. In history, we have thought of gout as the disease of kings because the rich diet that the monarchy consumed.  Food in and of itself is not the cause of gout. Gout is caused by high concentrations of uric acid in the body. Some people will produce too much uric acid in their body and others will just not be able to eliminate the uric acid efficiently.  People who are diabetic, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or kidney problems have an elevated risk to develop gout. Also men seem to develop gout more often than women and women don’t experience gout until after menopause.
But what makes uric acid in the body? It is estimated that your body naturally produce 2/3 of your uric acid while 1/3 will come from foods that you eat.  Foods that will cause your uric acid to rise are known as high purine foods.  You know those foods that you love to eat? They are probably high purine foods. The list includes red meat, processed meat, turkey, shellfish, organ meats, shellfish and oily fish.  One of the other big offenders is alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid.
So when you think about that Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, perhaps a little wine or beer, and those sweet potatoes floating in butter, you are looking at a high purine feast. If you have suffered from gout in the past, you might want to look back and see what you had been doing before the attack. If you have a problem each Thanksgiving, perhaps you need to cut back on some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods.  The first step is to cut out the beer and wine. Not very much fun but then again a gout attack is less fun. If you don’t want to cut out altogether, perhaps try drinking two or three glasses of water for every beer or glass of wine. Also, maybe eat a lot more vegetables and a lot less meat and sweet potatoes.  If your ankle or toe starts to hurt, elevate it and start drinking a lot of water to help flush your system.
I know it sounds like I am trying to ruin your Thanksgiving. I’m not! Really! I just want you to feel okay after you eat.
We wish you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. We are thankful for your support.  You are the very special to us at Evasnston Podiatric Surgeons and Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute.  Please accept our thanks and best wishes.

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