While you may be given a heads up about most of the pregnancy delights, you should definitely be on a lookout for not-so-expected changes too.
Morning sickness, nausea, vomiting and cramps are all there on the checklist but, did you know that a gout attack could also be on its way?
Gout is a form of arthritis, an inflammatory joint disease characterized by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint space.
Once known as ‘The Kings’ disease, gout is known to have a strong association with heavy drinking and eating purine rich food. However, we’re more concerned about developing and treating gout during pregnancy.
Gout and Pregnancy
While gout is commonly seen in men and is surely not a standard concern raised by pregnant women, it is true that your chances of experiencing a gout attack during pregnancy may be raised and there are a number of factors that contribute to it.
To begin with, a woman’s body undergoes several changes to accommodate a new life inside it.
For instance, changes in weight, body fluid distribution, hormones, metabolic function and blood volume expansion, and needless to mention, all of these directly or indirectly affect uric acid concentrations too.
Apart from these basic alterations, here are few more reasons for an increased chance of gout flare up;
Gestational Diabetes: studies have shown that women suffering from gestational diabetes experience gout flare, owing to the pregnancy-induced insulin resistance that decreases uric acid excretion and increases its level in blood .
High Fructose diet: fructose- a natural form of sugar found in honey, fruits and few vegetables, if consumed in excessive quantities during pregnancy, has also shown to increase uric acid as well as triglycerides levels in blood .
Past History: a significant past history of gout places you at a greater risk of experiencing a flare up. If you belong to this clan, then better watch your uric acid levels like a hawk during pregnancy.
Presence of co-morbid diseases like hypertension and kidney diseases also play a role in increasing your risk.
Treating gout during pregnancy becomes an absolute necessity since it’s an extremely painful condition that limits an individual in terms of discomfort and mobility.
While both medicines and home remedies have a lot to offer, people generally prefer to deal with the monster in the safest way possible during pregnancy, avoiding adverse effects and outcomes.
Most of the medications for gout belong to ‘Category C’ according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is there isn’t enough evidence to prove their safety or risk during pregnancy.
You are probably going to find your doctor recommending some major changes in your lifestyle and eating routine.
However, in case of severe cases your doctor may prescribe medications either during or after pregnancy after carefully weighing the risks and benefits.
Always consult your doctor before beginning a medicine, so that you’re well informed about all its adverse effects.
Remedies to Deal with Gout during Pregnancy
Managing gout mostly aims at reducing the severity and intensity of symptoms by lowering the uric acid levels. But, the burning question here is, what options are safe for treating gout during pregnancy?
Well, here we bring top five remedies to help you assuage the agonizing pain and discomfort caused by the disease;
1)Let’s flush the toxins out. This is one way of dealing with most of the health issues that your body faces. Drink plenty of water and flush out excess uric acid from the kidneys.
Not only will it bring improvement in gout symptoms but also boost your metabolism. By increasing your daily water intake, you also reduce your chances of water retention- a common pregnancy symptom.
2)Limit salt intake. Don’t be surprised if your dietitian asks you to limit your salt intake, since salt is mainly sodium, which favors water reabsorption, or in simple words encourages trapping of water inside the body making inflammation around joints naturally worse.
How to keep a tab on salt intake? Well, reduce your intake of fast food, preserved food and avoid salted snacks as much as possible.
3)Avoid excessive protein intake. Protein and purine rich food not only increases uric acid production, but also worsens your gout.
Studies have shown that intake of purine increases the risk of gout five-fold especially in people suffering from gout . Worst high Purine foods include;
-Sea food like lobster, shrimp, and scallops
You don’t really have to go cold turkey with these foods, just make sure to consume them in moderation, say a single serving daily. Also, discuss your diet plan with your doctor to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
4) Bananas. This year-round available fruit is probably one thing that should be on top of your Gout food list. Why do I say that? Well, here’s why bananas are an ideal gout killer;
a) Bananas are rich in potassium, which dissolves uric acid crystals by raising the pH and hindering the crystallization as well as deposition of uric acid crystals.
b) Vitamin C is another magic bullet present in moderation in bananas that not only is efficient in reducing uric acid levels but also boosts up the rebuilding process of joint after an attack.
c) Manganese in bananas also plays a role in reducing inflammation and gout pain. Furthermore, it has an effect on minimizing insulin resistance linked to high uric acid crystals.
5) Consume more cherries. Yet another fruit that brings good news for gout sufferers! Cherries are not only a storehouse of nutrients but studies have concluded that cherries reduce serum uric acid levels and are teeming with anthocyanins that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Also, according to a few more studies, cherries have the potential of assuaging pain and discomfort associated with gout .
Other fruits that have high anthocyanins levels include strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
In a nutshell, your diet and daily routine can make an immense difference and just by keeping a tab on the type of food you consume, you can tackle with the disease pretty well and lead a pain-free pregnancy as far as gout is concerned.