If you’re living with gout, doctors say the pain can sporadically affect your big toe, feet, ankles, and knees. “Gout is a type of arthritis that evolves from an imbalance of protein metabolism in your body. Sometimes people have a deficiency of an enzyme that helps break down proteins,” said Dr. Andrew Belis, a podiatric surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health.
That deficiency can be triggered by what you eat. “If you overload it by eating too much protein and too much shell fish and red meat, these proteins build up in your system, and your body cannot excrete it sufficiently through your kidneys,” said Dr. Belis.
A heavy protein diet can cause the proteins to be deposited into the joints causing inflammation and pain. This is when gout occurs, and the joint becomes swollen and hot. “Some things to do is rest the area, keep it elevated. Sometimes instead of using ice, heat can help with gout. It helps to get the blood flowing through the area. It helps to dissipate some of that inflammation,” said Dr. Belis.
Drinking plenty of water can also help minimize the pain. “I find that a majority of patients who have gout actually have dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcohol. Cut back on the proteins like red meats, shellfish, things like that,” said Dr. Belis. This will help to minimize the inflammation and pain to the joint.
“Just a little bit of manipulation of the diet and watching and hydrating yourself and watching how much alcohol you take in, that can really make a big difference here,” said Dr. Belis.
The symptoms of gout can mimic an infection, so it’s important patients talk to their doctor if they are having symptoms. Gout can resolve on its own by modifying your diet. But doctors say, a healthy diet can also help prevent gout.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.