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Since obesity is considered to be one of the main risk factors for gout, weight loss is therefore one of the best ways to prevent gout. In fact, a recent study by Dr. Hyon K. Choi of Massachusetts General Hospital showed that losing additional weight is more important to keeping gout at bay than previously believed. The study showed that losing weight dramatically cuts the risk of recurrences of a gout attack.
So, if you’ve already experienced gout or if you’re at risk of gout, then you will want to make sure that you’re within your healthy body weight range for your height. If you’re not, you’re going to want to start losing weight right now before that next gout attack occurs.
Your first step to kick-starting your weight loss plan should be to cut alcohol out of your diet entirely. Alcohol – especially beer – is one of the worst things you can consume if you’re trying to prevent a gout attack and it’s also full of “empty” calories that have little nutritional value.
Second to alcohol is foods containing purines. In Choi’s research, it was discovered that people who consume foods high in fats and purines, and those who drink alcohol are more likely to be overweight. People who are even a little bit overweight dramatically increase their risk of a gout attack. In the study, men who decreased their weight by ten pounds or more lowered their risk of gout by forty percent.
Foods high in purines that should be avoided include:
Foods low in purines and are good to include in a gout diet are:
Low fat dairy products
Cereals (not wholegrain)
The best time to start a diet and begin exercising in order to minimize the chances of a gout attack is right away. Not only will you look better buy you’ll feel better when you are within your healthy weight range. Furthermore, when you are a healthy weight your blood pressure is usually at a healthier level too. High blood pressure is also known to play a negative role in your chances of a gout attack. In fact, Choi’s study showed that high blood pressure was just as much of a risk for a gout attack as being overweight.
Typically you won’t be able to exercise while you have an inflamed joint. Too much activity when you have a gout attack can aggravate the attack even further, making it more sensitive and making it last longer. Instead, try to stretch and move the effected joint very gently in its full range of motion. The trick is to move slowly and carefully and not push your self too far.
Commit yourself fully to losing weight for your health and especially to avoid gout attacks. This is the best thing that you can do for yourself and to avoid the pain and discomfort associated with your condition. It may seem like a struggle at first as you reset your habits and build a new lifestyle, but once you get past the hurdle of changing the way you do things, living a gout-friendly, weight-friendly lifestyle will become a natural part of the way you do things.
Maintenance is, after all, just as important a part of avoiding a gout attack as losing the weight in the first place. Get to know how to keep your weight in the right place and you’ll prevent gout from bothering you in the future.
Tips for sticking to a gout diet and exercise regime:
- Vary food and keep the diet interesting
- Choose exercise you enjoy – good ones that are low impact and encourage steady weight loss include swimming, walking and cycling
- Buy protective foot ware to protect your gout prone joints. It has been shown that a damaged joint is more susceptible to gout.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during exercise and help the body “flush-out” excess uric acid.
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