An amazing array of foods, a few drinks and watching an epic game of football might be your perfect Thanksgiving day, but it could also be the perfect recipe for gout.
With Thanksgiving kicking off this week, and family gathering, it could be easy to forget about the risks and triggers of gout when you’re enjoying yourself. However, this could be a very painful mistake. This week, take extra precaution to:
- understand what could be the cause of gout this Thanksgiving
- take steps to avoid it before it strikes
What is Gout?
Gout, is a type of inflammatory arthritis, that occurs when uric acid levels in the blood become too high (typically due to dietary intake) and start to crystalize. These crystals typically form in the coldest parts of the body which for most of us overnight is our feet and more specifically our big toe.
Uric acid is the result of the breakdown of purines (chemicals that are found naturally in our bodies and in food). Some people develop gout because their kidneys have difficulty eliminating normal amounts of uric acid, while others produce too much of it.
Gout and Thanksgiving
It seems that just about everything that has to do with Thanksgiving is one big gouty nightmare! If you struggle with gout and want to avoid any triggers this week, here are a few pointers.
Try to avoid the following items:
- Turkey (especially organ meats)
- Fatty fish
- Other meats (especially red meats)
- Creamy sauces
- All sweet sodas
Now I don’t know about you but, the avoiding gout this thanksgiving may seem like you might as well just cancel the whole day! But if you are wise about how you approach this day you can combat gout before it shows up.
Avoid it Before it Strikes
Here’s how to avoid gout this Thanksgiving:
- Drink a pint of water when you get up in the morning before breakfast and an 8 ounce glass of water every hour of the day.
- Go for intermittent walks with the friends or family who are joining you throughout the day. A 5 minute stroll around the block will do every couple hours.
- When it comes to the meal itself fill your plate up with vegetables first, then add the other heavy hitting items sparingly. As a general rule when it comes to turkey all the organ meats are far worse for you than the breast meat. This is the same for leg meat – the darker it is, the worse it is for gout as a general rule.
- Substitute the gravy for a low fat version or a different low fat dairy based gravy.
For many people Thanksgiving involves alcohol– after all it is a celebration! Simply switching from beer to wine will reduce your chances of getting gout this thanksgiving. Red wine is far less potent for your kidneys. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking glasses of water throughout the day and in between alcoholic beverages.
Another cause of gout this thanksgiving could well be the stress of travelling or hosting others. How you deal with this stress could make all the difference between getting gout this Thanksgiving and staying happy, healthy and gout-free. Avoid any family spats and try your best to stay in a positive and calm mind-frame throughout the day.
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