It can be hard to navigate the holidays with gout, particularly because you’re likely to encounter one of the worst triggers for this condition, alcohol, on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, there will likely be alcohol at a majority of the gatherings, so it’s best to be prepared on how to avoid it! When it comes to gout and alcohol, there’s no such thing as “just a little.” Even the smallest drink can trigger a reaction.
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Too much alcohol consumption causes purine to get broken down into uric acid in the body. When there’s too much uric acid, it can get concentrated into one joint, most of the big toe, and cause a painful gout attack. It can also form into stones in the kidney. In bad cases, these crystals build up in other parts of the body and form into bumps called tophi.
And remember, gout isn’t just an instance of pain or bumps in your body. It’s associated with more serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes. A person with gout should always be mindful of their alcohol intake, but this becomes even more important during the holidays! To help, here are some tips on how to navigate gout and alcohol this holiday season.
Eat Before Drinking
If you’ve made the decision that you are going to drink this holiday season, just be sure to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. This is a rule we should all follow, but it’s especially important for people with gout. As most of us already know, drinking on an empty stomach will cause a person to get drunk faster. When we’re intoxicated, we make poor decisions such as drinking more and increasing the risk of having a painful gout attack.
If there’s food in your stomach while drinking, it will allow the alcohol to be absorbed more slowly into the body.