If you have gout, you may have experienced its stealthy abilities as it can sneak up on you in the middle of the night causing sudden and often severe pain in your big toe. Gout is a form of arthritis. It occurs when uric acid builds up resulting in needle-like crystals to form in your joints. With feet, gout often attacks the joint at the base of the big toe leaving pain, swelling and inflammation in its wake.
Can gout be worse in the summer?
For some people with gout, summer can bring new factors into play that can put them at a higher risk for a flare up. One thing summer brings is heat. Heat can lead to dehydration and this is a risk factor for gout. During hot and humid weather, it can be easy to become dehydrated. Drinking adequate amounts of fluid ensures that the uric acid levels in your body stay at a healthy place. One fluid to avoid though is beer, which is a beverage often found at summer barbecues. Consumption of too much beer can cause dehydration and it can increase uric acid levels. Beer contains purines, of which uric acid is made.
Summer parties can also bring foods dangerous to someone trying to keep gout at bay. Hamburgers are red meat and hot dogs are a processed food, both of which are high purine foods. Sweetened drinks and foods high in saturated fat are regulars at a summer party as well and too much could bring on a gout attack.
Dr. Sanjay Patel, foot specialist in Connecticut, helps many patients keep gout under control. If you are struggling with recurring attacks, please call us for help. Gout does not have to ruin your summer plans!
Schedule an appointment with us by calling either of our two area offices.