Grilling with Dad today? Watch out for Gout!

A feast like this could trigger a gout attack Happy Father’s Day! If, like so many of us, you plan on marking the day with dad’s favorites, beer and BBQ, make sure you don’t overdue it, or you may find yourself experiencing the terrible foot pain associated with gout.

Gout is a painful type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in your blood, causing inflammation in your joints, most frequently your big toe. Acute gout is a painful condition that often affects only one joint; chronic gout is when your experience repeated episodes of pain and inflammation, and more than one joint may be affected.

Father’s day barbeques can become triggers for an acute gout attack because many of the foods we serve on a grill day triggers have high purine contents; purine is metabolized into crystals of uric acid that settle into the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain so bad it even hurts for you to be touched.

Some of the worst BBQ food offenders are:

• Red meat
 (steaks and burgers)

• Poultry
 (chicken wings)

• Organ meat (possibly in hot dogs)

• Beans

• Asparagus

• Mushrooms

• Seafood (Shrimp)

• Yeast (some hamburger or hotdog buns)

• Beer

If you’re concerned that grilling out may lead to gout, you can take proactive measures by heaping your plate with only one or two purine-rich food, choosing antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, cherries, and raspberries in your meal, and drinking lots of water (ideally 8 to 16 cups a day.) Coffee has also been shown to help reduce the concentration of uric acid in your blood, so a steaming cup of joe after a barbeque may be a good idea.

If you wake up tomorrow with a stiff, swollen big toe and are concerned that the pain you’re experiencing may be gout, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider immediately so you can begin treatment. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.