How to Prevent Gout From Affecting You

gout prevention

Story at-a-glance -

  • Gout is common among older people, particularly in men between the ages of 40 and 50 and in women in their postmenopausal stage
  • It’s never too early to start combating the potential effects of gout, and you can do so through these strategies

Gout is common among older people, particularly in men between the ages of 40 and 50 and in women in their postmenopausal stage.1 But just because you don’t belong to any of these groups, it doesn’t mean you’re safe from the disease. It’s never too early to start combating the potential effects of gout, and you can do so through these strategies.

It’s Time to Get Physical

Constant movement is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, and since gout attacks the joints and eventually inflames them, exercise or physical activity may stop flare-ups from happening. A regular exercise program may help combat joint pain and stiffness, decrease pain, assist with improved mobility2 and normalize your insulin3,4 levels.

Take note that there are exercises that may not be suitable for gout patients or those experiencing gout symptoms, as they can strain or worsen the joints. Here are tips if you’re a gout patient and want to incorporate physical activity into your routine:

Refrain from exercising when your joints are painful

Slow down or choose another type of exercise if you feel pain for more than an hour after a workout

Use assistive devices to reduce joint pressure while exercising

Enlist a professional physical therapist or personal trainer who can develop a safe range of workouts for you

If you’re keen on working out, make sure to incorporate any of these techniques. They are modified but more beneficial versions of routines that most people are already familiar with:

High-intensity interval training (HIIT): There are many HIIT protocols you can follow, but one of the most effective routines (and one of my preferred exercises) would be the Nitric Oxide (NO) Dump, a three-to four-minute workout conceptualized by Dr. Zach Bush.

Because of this workout’s ability to promote NO release, this HIIT routine may aid in boosting immune function, and help with blood thinning and reducing viscosity. If you’re interested in trying this out, read my article “Incorporate the Nitric Oxide Dump.”

Strength training: Strength training workouts come in many different types for various lifestyles, and these may assist with improving bone health, promoting better weight management and quality of life, addressing symptoms of chronic conditions and enhancing thinking abilities.5

Contrary to popular belief, strength training exercises will not make you bulk up since muscle growth is restrained mostly by genetics, food intake, age, gender, body type and other biological factors.

Active isolated stretching (AIS): Developed by Aaron Mattes, AIS utilizes specialized repetitive stretches that are done in a set order. These stretches help target muscle, as well as address connective tissue injury and restriction. Eventually, these allow muscle and fascial tissues to elongate without disrupting the body’s protective systems that may prevent safe and effective stretching and overall flexibility.

Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is beneficial not just for gout patients, but for everyone in general. This all-important vitamin stimulates over 3,000 genes in your body and plays a role in various bodily processes. Vitamin D also has a major role in helping prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, to name a few.

If you want to raise your vitamin D levels, the best way to do it is via sensible sun exposure. Make sure large portions of your skin are exposed to the sun for a few minutes, at a period closest to solar noon. You’ll know that you have accomplished this goal when your skin turns into the lightest shade of pink. However, if you live in an area where sunlight isn’t abundant, you can take a vitamin D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) supplement along with a vitamin K2 supplement.

On a final note, remember that individual vitamin D requirements may be different from one person to another. The first step in knowing how much vitamin D you need lies in your current levels.

As much as possible, have your vitamin D levels tested twice a year. GrassrootsHealth, which spearheads the ongoing D*Action Project, offers a measurement kit for this purpose. Read “Without Magnesium, Vitamin D Supplementation May Backfire” for more information about this test and learn more reasons why you should be paying attention to your vitamin D levels.

Suppress Your Stress

Stress is inevitable when you’re diagnosed with gout. However, this does not mean that you should let it get to you. Increased stress raises your immune system’s sensitivity to cortisol (a stress hormone) and potentially leads to an increased inflammatory response. This then results in significantly worsened inflammation,  which exacerbates the condition.6

Your body prepares itself to activate a “fight-or-flight” mode when it makes cortisol, raises your heart rate, blood flow and oxygen intake, and briefly suppresses parts of your immune system. As a result, your body’s response to pathogens and other foreign invaders weakens — all the more a reason why combating stress is vital in maintaining good health.

If you’re not sure where to begin, try the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT works in the same way as acupuncture, but instead of using needles, you use your fingertips to tap and target energy meridian points on the head and chest, while reciting positive affirmations. The purpose of EFT is to help address emotional “scarring” and reprogram your body’s reaction/s to emotional stressors.

Be Down to Earth, Literally

Walking barefoot and connecting your body to the earth makes you engage in a process called grounding or earthing. When you do this, you permit the free electrons from the earth to go into your body and exert their antioxidant properties and combat free radicals residing in your tissues.

What’s more, grounding makes your blood thinner, lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease,7 and assists with decreasing muscle stiffness and soreness.8

If you want to try grounding, start by exercising barefoot outdoors. If you live near a beach or somewhere close to a body of water, you’re in luck. These locations are ideal for walking barefoot since saltwater is a great conductor. Other possible areas that may help you start this beneficial practice include places with dewy and grassy surfaces, and unsealed ceramic tiles and concrete.

Get Enough Shut-Eye

It’s unfortunate that there are people who take sleep for granted. Making sure you get enough sleep per night benefits your health, since sleep deprivation increases your risk of developing certain diseases and impairs production of your growth hormones, leading to premature aging.

The amount of sleep you need per night depends on your age. Researchers who spearheaded a scientific review that involved examination of more than 300 studies published between 2004 and 2014 have published the following sleep time recommendations for healthy individuals:


Age group Hours of sleep needed

Newborns (0 to 3 months)

14 to 17 hours

Infants (4 to 11 months)

12 to 15 hours

Toddlers (1 to 2 years)

11 to 14 hours

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)

10 to 13 hours

School-age children (6 to 13 years)

Nine to 11 hours

Teenagers (14 to 17 years)

Eight to 10 hours

Adults (18 to 64 years)

Seven to nine hours

Seniors (65 years and older)

Seven to eight hours

Apart from getting adequate hours of sleep, pay attention to your sleeping position, and try to sleep on your back while keeping the neck and spine in a neutral position. Reduced sleep quality may be attributed to your sleeping position, especially if you sleep on your side or on your stomach.

For more tips on how to improve your sleep quality and aid in reducing your risk for gout and other diseases, read this article entitled “Sleep — Why You Need It and 50 Ways to Improve It.”

MORE ABOUT GOUT

Gout: Introduction

What Is Gout?

Gout Causes

Gout Types

Gout Symptoms

Gout Treatment

Gout Prevention

Gout Diet

Gout FAQ

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