If you’ve ever suffered an attack of gout, chances are it’s not something you want to repeat. Intense joint pain (most often in the big toe) that comes on suddenly and often in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning can be so bad that walking is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, here at Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS, we often see an increase in cases of gout during the holiday season. Gout is a result of uric acid buildup in the joints. Below are some tips to help you avoid this painful condition.

Limit Holiday Cheer—alcohol can be a trigger for an attack of gout. Red wine and beer are particularly bad for those susceptible to gout but the Arthritis Foundation recommends that women limit their alcohol intake to one drink in 24 hours and men to 2 drinks.

Feast with Care—foods high in purines are known to increase uric acid in the body, which is to be avoided by patients who get gout. As you make your way around the holiday buffet, avoid red meat, organ meats (such as liver and tongue), shellfish (like shrimp and lobster) and rich cream sauces. Sugary beverages, refined carbohydrates (white bread, rice and pasta, for example) and processed foods such as chips and snack foods can also put you at increased risk for an attack. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight has also been shown to reduce gout risk.

Stay Hydrated—drink plenty of water to help flush uric acid from your body; getting dehydrated raises the risk of gout.

Increase Vitamin C—some studies have shown that 500 mg of vitamin C a day may reduce the incidence of gout.

If you have a history of gout and are concerned about future attacks, make an appointment at our Wayne, New Jersey office by calling: 973-595-1555. There are prescription medications that can help with gout. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, will examine your foot and get your medical history. Once the extent of your condition is assessed, the foot doctor can make appropriate recommendations so you can maximize your chances of preventing another gout attack.