Gout Self-Care

Take a few important steps

The discomfort associated with a gout attack is intense. The pain is relentless and wearing. You'll want to be kind to yourself during an attack of gouty arthritis. The uncomfortable sensation is stress producing and you might find it hard to cope. You'll want to do whatever you can to take care of yourself. There are steps you can take to ease the strain of your attack and limit its effects. You'll find yourself coping better with the inflammation and tenderness of a gout attack if you take a few important steps.

Lower the amount of animal protein in your diet. High levels of protein in the body are known to increase uric acid blood levels. Current nutritional guidelines limit protein consumption to no more than 5 or 6 ounces of daily protein, such as lean meat, poultry, or fish for just about everyone, but especially for those who suffer from gout. Some protein sources are higher in purine, which is responsible for causing the high uric acid levels that cause gout. Among these protein sources are organ meats such as liver, kidney, brains, sweetbreads, and kidneys. Certain fish are also high in purines. You might want to stay away from mackerel, herring, and anchovies.

Stay off the bottle!

Stay off the bottle! Alcohol inhibits your ability to flush out excess uric acid from your body. If you're in the throes of a gout attack, don't drink.

Don't drink alcohol, but do drink lots and lots of water. It's fluids you need to get that extra uric acid flushed out of your system. The more you drink, the easier it is to get rid of the stuff that makes those painful crystals that are digging into your joints.

Most adults lose about one and a half liters of fluid a day through urination. If you consider that another liter of fluid is lost through sweat, breathing, and bowel movements, it's easy to see that a person loses quite a bit of fluid just going about the task of living life. Doctors advise that men drink 3 liters of water daily, and women 2.2 liters of water a day.

But there are factors that can influence how much water a person needs to drink, such as hot weather, exercise, and living at high altitudes. Check with your doctor how much water you should be drinking to help flush out the uric acid that's causing your gout.