And Why Beer Can Cause Flare Ups

My grandmother was diagnosed with gout, which in turn led me to believe this is why she took a water pill. It also created a thought in my mind that it was something young adults could not get. The truth, I was wrong.

Gout is a form of arthritis.  One that is caused by having too much uric acid in the blood. It can be the culprit of sudden burning pain, stiffness, redness, warmth, and/or swelling in a joint – often awakening you in the middle of the night. The most common place to experience the sharp pain, your big toe. However, you can get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, knees, and other joints.

When an attack happens, basically, the extra uric acid in your blood has formed hard crystals in your joints. The pain or swelling can last days to weeks. One of the biggest myths I personally discovered about gout – water pills or diuretics can actually bring on gout.

May 22 is National Gout Awareness Day. The condition is something many can relate to, and possibly never know this is what they have. More than 8.3 million of Americans are affected by the painful inflammatory arthritis, and men are more likely to diagnosed.

Summertime brings increased risk for gout. Why? I sat down with Dr. Nick Romansky, a legendary podiatrist for the U.S. World Cup and National Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams, to find out.

SAMnewslink: Dr. Romansky, first thank you for taking the time to discuss gout. Why is it an important topic for summer?

Dr. Romansky: Thank you. Gout is a unique topic, often overlooked. It is especially important in the summer due to the increase of time spent outdoors and the different foods we may eat. Proper hydration in the summer is important to prevent dehydration and key to your joint wellness.

SAMnewslink: You are saying that our fluid intake could prevent a gout flare up?

Dr. Romansky: Yes. In fact if you are thirsty, it is too late. You are past the point of dehydration. Keeping up on your fluids (especially water intake) is important to your overall health, and can help prevent gout flare ups.

SAMnewslink: You mentioned food. Is there a food or drink that can contribute to gout symptoms?

Dr. Romansky: I am glad you asked. Beer is the biggest culprit for gout. Summer barbecues can encourage beer intake. So, I believe that this is something everyone should be aware of.

Think you may have gout? Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and keep your body hydrated.