How Your Diet is Linked to Your Feet

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Your body is amazing! All your parts and systems work in tandem like a harmonious machine to keep you moving and active throughout the day. So much stuff goes on “behind the scenes,” that you’re not aware of. Sometimes, though, those background mechanisms that keep us thriving can get a little crossed. For instance, did you know your diet can affect your feet?

One such mechanical mix-up where diet plays a key is a form of arthritis called gout. It stems from a buildup of uric acid in your bloodstream.

How does gout develop?

Uric acid is formed when your body breaks down a substance called purines. Typically, that uric acid is then transported to the kidneys and passed through the urine. However, if your diet is high in purines, or if your kidneys aren’t functioning as they should, you can develop an excess of uric acid, which can lead to gout.

Which foods are high in purines?

Red meat, organ meats, rich sauces, fish, shellfish, and alcoholic beverages are all high in purines and should only be eaten in moderation to avoid gout.

What are the symptoms of gout?

If you wake up in the middle of the night with a throbbing, sore big toe, you might have gout. Sudden and intense pain, inflammation, redness, and irritation of your joints are common symptoms. The pain can last for several hours and subside, only to return in a month or longer. This will eventually cause damage to the joint. Typically, men are more prone to gout, as well as people with poor diets or poor kidney function.

How do you treat gout?

If you are suffering from an acute case of gout, you can try the following while waiting to see your podiatrist:

  • Utilizing the RICE method:  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Drinking lots of clear fluids
  • Over-the-counter medication to lessen pain and swelling

The best cure is always prevention though. Here are a few tips to avoid gout:

  • Cut out purine-high foods
  • Eat a diet full of veggies and whole grains
  • Maintain a healthy weight

If you think you’ve developed gout, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. Dr. Stuart Snyder here at Maple Springs Foot Center is available to help diagnose and provide relief from gout or any other foot and ankle issue you may be suffering from. To get in touch, request an appointment online or call our office conveniently located in Gaithersburg, MD at 301-762-3338.