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Got Gout? Holiday Season Triggers Painful Toes

Got gout? If so, watch what you eat and drink during this holiday season.

Changes in diet, including overindulging in certain foods and beverages, can cause gout attacks this time of year.

Gout attacks are extremely painful. They are caused when uric acid accumulates in the tissues or a joint and crystallizes. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint because the toe is the coolest part of the body and uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes.

ACFAS foot and ankle surgeons say foods that are high in purines contribute to uric acid buildup. They recommend that people prone to gout attacks avoid purine-rich items, such as shellfish (shrimp, crab, etc.), organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red meat, red wine and beer.

Gout can be treated with medications, diet changes, increasing consumption of appropriate fluids and elevating and immobilizing the foot.