Gout is not an easy illness to deal with. For one thing, it sneaks up on you in the middle of the night. For another, it can forever alter what you are allowed to do, drink and even eat. However, avoiding a second flareup is usually an important issue once you’ve had the first one.
Summer poses an extremely difficult time to keep gout under control. Almost every activity you may wish to take part in can pose a problem. Even the weather can turn against you. Here are a few reminders, and possible ways around them.
Beer: This favorite drink of hot weather poses two problems for the gout sufferer. It’s an alcoholic beverage, which can cause dehydration. It’s also got yeast in it, which contains purine — the stuff from which uric acid is made.
Naturally, water would be a better choice, but if you must imbibe something, look into red wine. You can’t have a ton of it, but a glass or so in companionable moments may help you avoid spending two weeks unable to walk.
Barbecues: The stuff of legends, the mouth watering foods we all crave. Hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs — and gout. Actually, the worst thing on that list is the hot dog. Processed meats tend to have more purine than a steak. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your barbecue or avoid a friend’s kindly invitation. Just exercise a little caution.
Talk to your nutritionist about which foods would be safest for you. Some folks with gout will have a worse time with one food than another. It’s called a trigger food. If yours is seafood, then shrimp on a barby is not a good idea.
While mushrooms do have some purine, a nicely grilled portabella may be a better choice. You can also enjoy grilled corn. Done properly, it is one of the most delicious treats of summer.
Dehydration: For some of us, it’s a summer-long fight to keep enough fluids going in the body to make up for what is sweated out. It’s one of the key reasons I so dislike living in Southern California. It’s also a really good way to develop a gout flareup.
Besides talking to your nutritionist, you should also talk to your doctor about what to use in order to avoid this problem. If you sweat a lot, you’re losing much more than just water. You’re losing salt and other electrolytes. You may find that a sport’s drink is a better option.
Gout is one of the most painful problems I’ve seen. It seems almost unfair that the entire body is brought to a standstill because of one toe, but I’ve seen it happen. If you’d rather spend your summer out doing things, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time to avoid these issues.