Everyday Christmas habits could be putting you at a greater risk of “painful” attacks of gout.

By Fiona Callingham, Daily Express, Health Reporter specializing in medical studies, symptoms of diseases and conditions, real-life stories, and the latest public health issues.

The holiday season is a time for indulgence, joy, and relaxation, often accompanied by habits deviating from our routines. While enjoying the festivities, being mindful of our health is crucial, especially if we are already at risk for certain conditions. Gout, a type of arthritis triggered by factors like alcohol, stress, inactivity, and insufficient sleep, is one such condition that can be exacerbated during the Christmas period.

Understanding Gout

Before diving into preventive measures, let’s grasp the basics. Gout is an inflammatory condition causing sudden and intensely painful swelling. Dr Taher Mahmud from the London Osteoporosis Clinic emphasizes that as our lifestyle becomes more indulgent, especially during Christmas, gout attacks become more common, with men more susceptible than women.

Preventing Gout Over the Festive Season: Expert Tips

  1. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Dr Mahmud advises moderation with alcohol, as it is believed to increase uric acid production. Tracking and moderating alcohol intake can be challenging during Christmas, but having a large glass of water after each drink helps maintain awareness of consumption.

2. Adopt a Low-Purine Diet

Opt for a low-purine diet by emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing red meat, seafood, and alcohol. Purine compounds found in various foods contribute to uric acid crystal buildup. Dr Mahmud recommends incorporating more fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, cherries, and vitamin C into your diet.

* Recommended Foods: - Fruit and vegetables - Low-fat dairy products - Cherries - Vitamin C-rich foods

* Hydration Tip: - Drink plenty of water to flush out uric acid and hinder crystal development.

3. Prioritize Rest and Sleep

Aiming for eight hours of sleep each night is beneficial for preventing gout and overall health. Dr. Mahmud emphasizes that sufficient sleep supports the immune system, preventing infection and inflammation, managing stress levels, and improving memory.

4. Incorporate Regular Exercise

Staying active is a healthy habit for everyone, and it plays a role in preventing gout attacks. Dr Mahmud notes that being overweight or obese is a risk factor for gout, making maintaining a healthy weight crucial.

Remember, these preventive measures are for those at risk and everyone looking to enjoy a healthy and joyful festive season. Incorporating these habits into your holiday routine can make a significant difference in keeping gout at bay and ensuring a happy and healthy celebration.

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