Surviving the holiday season can be a stressful task on its own. When you add gout to the mix, it certainly kicks things up a notch. The pain the accompanies a gout attack can be excruciating. Redness, swelling, and inflammation in the affected joints are all symptoms you may experience. While the big toe is commonly affected when a gout attack occurs, gout can strike any joint. However, a few simple, preventative measures could help turn your holiday from oh-oh-oh to ho-ho-ho.

Gout occurs when individuals have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystallizes and deposits in the joints causing pain and inflammation. Those prone to gout are encouraged to avoid purine-rich foods like shellfish and red meat. Purines are a natural substance found in some foods that your body converts to uric acid. Making wise decisions when it comes to food choices is key when it comes to gout.

Sodium is also something to be mindful of around the holiday season. Prepared meats like ham and turkey can be loaded with extra salt. Be mindful to steer clear of the salt shaker to avoid dehydration. When you get dehydrated, uric acid levels in the body can increase.

Speaking of dehydration, beverage options are equally as important. Alcohol and gout do not mix. If you feel compelled to indulge at a holiday party, stick to red wine and stay far away from beer and liquor. Also, be sure that you are drinking plenty of water. Your kidneys work to expel the uric acid in your body, so it is imperative to stay hydrated and prevent them from working overtime.

It is important for those with gout to know that a few take extra steps to can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable holiday season. If you or someone you love is looking for new treatment options when it comes to managing symptoms associated with gout, studies are enrolling now. Qualified participants have access to potential new gout medications, and receive care from board-certified physicians and other medical staff. Those that qualify may also be compensated for time and travel expenses. If you have gout, learn more about this exciting research opportunity by clicking HERE.