Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. Gout most classically affects the joint in the base of the big toe. Some people find that gout can flair up at Christmas. Using the superb guidelines below from our friends at Active Edge should give you an indication of why this is and what you can do to alleviate the symptoms:
CherryActive products are 100% natural and packed full of antioxidant-rich Montmorency cherries and contain no sweeteners, preservatives, flavourings or added sugar. To combat gout, take CherryActive twice a day; research shows drinking CherryActive (100% concentrated Montmorency cherry juice) lowers uric acid in the blood. Usually 30ml a day keeps gout at bay. During December, you are recommend to double up to two x 30ml measures a day; or CherryActive Capsules (2-4 caps, twice a day); or one x 30ml CherryActive juice and 2 CherryActive capsules, per day.
It's important to drink more water, especially at this time of year. Higher alcohol consumption and central heating in December can contribute to dehydration. Dehydration causes uric acid to be more concentrated in the blood, increasing the risk of a gout attack.
Cut out high purine foods – Purines are found in a lot of foods and break down into uric acid. High uric acid levels cause gout attacks. Some high purine foods found at Christmas time are game meat, offal, seafood (prawns etc) and rich gravies.
Cut down on beer. Alcohol can dehydrate and also interrupts uric acid elimination. Many of us over indulge during Christmas, but if you are a beer drinker, consider switching all or some to a different drink. Beer also contains high levels of purines that break down into uric acid – you can see why too much beer can precipitate an attack! Perhaps a G&T (plenty of tonic) or Vodka, Lime and Soda. Also consider some low or non-alcoholic drinks and plenty of water!
Gout often affects the extremities, especially the toes, so it's important to keep your toes warm. Cold toes and feet can help precipitate the uric acid into crystals in these delicate joints. Keep your feet warm, especially at night.
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