Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone, including myself. It’s considered one of the most painful rheumatic conditions. Affecting about 54.4 million adults in the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people have gout. While there is no cure, there are things that can be done to better manage and treat the condition.
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If you’ve recently been diagnosed with gout and are feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry! I’ve created this list with some of the biggest lessons i’ve learned since being diagnosed with gout. Check it out…
Manage Your Weight
Before I was diagnosed with gout, I weighed 240 pounds. I was considered centrally obese, meaning I was carrying excess weight in my middle belly. That extra weight took a toll on my joints, not to mention, it made me more prone to those very painful gout attacks.
When I learned that this condition would follow me for the rest of my life, I had to make some serious changes, starting with my weight. I had to lose 45 pounds in order to go back to my ideal weight.
Why is maintaining a healthy weight important? To start, shedding excess pounds will lift the burden off your joints. You’ll feel less pain and swelling in those areas without the weight of any extra pounds. Weight loss will also reduce the uric acid levels in your blood.
To get to your ideal weight, you need to be doing a combination of diet and exercise (more on that later). Just be sure that you are losing it gradually. If you lose weight too fast, it will increase the uric acid in your body causing you to have a gout attack.
You want to keep it at 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week. This is great because you can also make the lifestyle changes gradually, making it more sustainable for you in the long run.