Hopefully the only carryover from yesterday’s big game is water-cooler talk about Beyonce’s half-time appearance…but, unfortunately, I know this will not be the case for many of my readers and patients.
After the big game, lots and lots of people experience foot pain so severe that even the touch of a thin sheet is excruciating—and it’s usually due to gout.
Gout is a buildup of uric acid in joints, (typically the big toe joint) that leads to a violent and painful flare-up. This buildup occurs because of a higher than normal concentration of uric acid in your body.
The excess can occur in two ways: if the body makes too much uric acid or if it loses the ability to get rid of it through excretion. both of those situations are, of course, greatly affected by your diet.
With that understanding, it’s not hard to see why the day after the Super Bowl sees one of the highest spikes in gout diagnoses in this country…just think back to the typical game day munchies—burgers, wings, shrimp, fried foods and beer—they’re all potential gout attack triggers. But wait...there's more!
The gout attack is caused by an increased CONCENTRATION of uric acid. That means a greater volume of uric acid from the food you have eaten with less liquid to dilute it—i.e., dehydration. Why is the Super Bowl prime time for dehydration? Well, no viewing party is complete without alcohol of some kind, and all types of alcohol are dehydrating.
So, truly, Super Bowl parties create the perfect storm of gout-triggers: food that increase uric acid production and dehydrating beverages that increase the acid’s concentration in your body.
How will you know you’ve got gout? Don’t worry, it won’t be subtle! Your big toe will be very red, hot and swollen and you’ll be in terrible, terrible pain.
Are you there already? Don’t panic: there are ways to stop the pain, fast! Schedule an immediate appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider to assess the cause of your discomfort and to come up with a feel-better-fast plan.