A Guide to Living a Happy & Healthy Life with Gout
At the end of the day, most people would agree that they’d be satisfied with two things: happiness and health. But sickness is a part of our existence, so when we are faced with a painful illness like gout our health (obviously) deteriorates…and our happiness is often close behind.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Certain lifestyle and diet choices you make can help you live a happy and healthy life – even when you’re a gout sufferer.
I’ve gathered 6 of the most important wellness decisions you need to make so you will not only reduce or eliminate gout attacks, but you will boost your overall health and happiness as well. None of these are hard or expensive, but they all take commitment.
1. Be Active
The #1 step you can take for a happy, healthy life with gout is to get into the habit of regular exercise.
Of course, an active body is always going to be healthier than a sedentary body, but when it comes to gout in particular, weight management is key. If you are overweight or obese, your body produces extra uric acid and has an extra hard time excreting uric acid. All this equals more gout attack potential.
One of the best ways you’re going to lower your weight and then maintain that weight is to exercise regularly.
The very least amount of exercise you should be getting is 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate aerobic activity – it’s better to aim for about 300 minutes (5 hours) weekly. You also need some muscle strengthening activities (like weightlifting or Pilates) at least twice a week.
You’re going to lower your weight, lower your inflammation, boost your immune system, increase your energy, and lower your stress. It’s the ultimate win for gout sufferers.
Side note: If you are in the midst of a gout attack right now, wait until the pain and inflammation have subsided to begin exercising.
2. Eat Healthy (Low-Purine) Meals
Healthy eating will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also lower inflammation in your body (which is helpful since gout is an inflammatory condition). This happens when you eat meals rich in produce, nuts, seeds, etc. and low in sugar, processed foods, bad fats, etc.
But the proper diet can go a step further in improving gout – it can lower your purine content.
Purines turn into uric acid as the body breaks them down. The fewer purines you consume, the less uric acid you will have. Now, you’ll never be totally purine-free because your body produces purines too. And you’re going to need some healthy foods with moderate amounts of purines. The goal, then, is to greatly reduce high-purine foods.
Top offenders include:
- Red meat
- Game meat
- Organ meat
- Some seafood
3. Take the Right Supplements
Diet and exercise are the cornerstone for improving just about any health condition – and as we’ve seen, it’s no different with gout. But sometimes our healthy lifestyles need an extra helping hand in the form of supplements.
Here are 4 supplements in particular which will help your body find the proper levels of uric acid:
- Celery Seed Extract
- Tart Cherry
- Chanca Piedra
- Hydrangea Extract
Together, these supplements can limit both the frequency of gout attacks and their severity. Plus, they are going to help you reduce inflammation and offer relief from your gout symptoms.
4. Manage Other Health Problems
Our health often has a domino effect: when one thing goes wrong, it can be the catalyst for other things going wrong too. When you are dealing with other health conditions that are going untreated or unmanaged, your risk of a gout attack can go up.
While you should focus on getting healthy no matter what’s going on in your body, here are some of the other health conditions that can often be that falling domino leading to a gout attack:
- High blood pressure
- Heart and kidney diseases
- Metabolic syndrome
More Hand-Crafted Articles:
- Best Pain Relievers for Gout without a Prescription
- Taking Tart Cherries For Gout
- 11 of the Most Effective Natural Gout Treatments
- 7 Best Foods to Eat for Gout
One of the best ways to do manage these is to get regular checkups. Catch problems before they become serious problems. And always listen to your body in between doctors’ visits. If something doesn’t feel right, if you’re too tired, or if you’re in pain, take the time to get a diagnosis.
5. Stay Hydrated
Uric acid goes out the body mostly through urine. When there is not enough fluid in the body, all that uric acid sits there in concentrated form. That ups the chances of urate crystals developing and leading to a gout attack.
You need to be intentional about getting plenty of water each and every day. If you struggle to remember, make it fun. Add fruit slices. Download a hydration reminder app. Do whatever you need to do to get at least 8 glasses of water a day (but pay attention to your urine – if it is anything but clear or very, very light yellow, drink even more H2O!)
The payoff is worth it. Not only will you prevent gout attacks, but you will also feel more energetic, have better skin, and improve your immune system.
6. Be Prepared for an Attack
Sometimes you can do everything right and still wind up with a gout attack – this is especially true of those who are simply genetically predisposed. One of the best ways to put your mind at ease is to create a game plan in case you wind up with a flare up.
- Have crutches or a cane at home, so you can be mobile
- Keep a pair of gout socks (socks with the big toe cut out) or a gout glove (mittens with the thumb cut out) in your dresser, so your body can stay warm without any added pressure
- Stock some frozen cherries in your freezer, so you can make a quick cherry smoothie (since we already know cherries are fabulous at balancing uric acid)
- Have non-aspirin pain relievers nearby (Aspirin can actually increase your uric acid levels)
If you know you can get through a gout attack, your overall anxiety levels can go down the rest of the time.
No More Suffering from Gout
Just because you have gout genetics in your family or because you’ve experienced a gout attack/attacks before does not mean you are condemned to an unhappy and unhealthy life for the rest of time. Be proactive. Get moving. Eat well. Supplement smartly. Take care of yourself. Drink H20. And stay prepared.
Read Next: 4 Best Natural Cures For Gout