How to travel and avoid Gout

Traveling can be hectic as is, and downright scary if you suffer from Gout.  Why does Gout tend to attack at THE worst imaginable times and can you avoid this fate?

The anticipation and fear of the next Gout attack can be extremely stressful.  Travel can be very stressful, too.  Unfortunately, stress can actually CAUSE an attack.  Stress can dramatically alter the pH of the body increasing its acid load, pulling minerals from the body, and triggering inflammation.  While finally arriving at your destination can be relaxing and fun, the stress leading up to that point could cause problems.

·         Try to pack well ahead of time and don’t overthink it.  Most people don’t use half of the things they bring.  Make a list over a long period of time and stick to it.

·         If you are flying, have your documents for security set aside separately and plan to arrive with plenty of time to spare.

·         Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and eat well (at least leading up to the vacay.)

·         Stress and travel can deplete the healthy bacteria in the body.  Taking a high quality probiotic before, during, and after travel can help a great deal.

·         Breathe deeply and try to relax.

Lack of mobility can also cause problems.  Whether you are confined to a car or an economy-class, squished airline seat — leg room can be an issue.  When the blood circulation slows down, uric acid is more likely to crystallize.  The feet are the most susceptible as the coldest part of the body.

·         Take the time to get up and get out of whatever seat you are confined to and get moving.  Get the blood pumping as often as you can.

·         Try to keep your feet warm at all times.  Extra, fluffy socks can help.

Dehydration tends to be another area of trouble.  Remaining hydrated ahead of the trip is important, but we tend to slack off during travel.  If you are flying, you are at an even greater risk.  Cabin air has less humidity and can lead to dehydration rather quickly.  We also tend to slack off on our water amounts to avoid multiple bathrooms breaks, especially on long car rides.  This is not a luxury the Gout sufferer can afford.

·         Stay hydrated before, during, and after travel.

·         Drink no less than ½oz of water per pound of your body weight, daily.

·         Do not count any other liquid towards this water amount, and avoid most other liquids in general.  Juices and soda do not offer hydration or anything much else.  Remember that tea and coffee are diuretics and can be dehydrating.

Nutrition is another crucial area to address.  This is an important area at all times, but even more so leading up to traveling.  We tend to slack off quite a bit during travel and simply don’t have access to the best food choices most of the time.  Many people have a misconception about specific food causing their attacks.  The reality is many gout sufferers are already close to their ‘cup of uric acid’ being full, allowing for a meal to send them over that edge.  Leading up to the traveling time, and pretty much anytime you wish to splurge, it is essential to obtain manageable levels whereas a bit of splurging won’t tip your cup over into an attack.  You can do this with smart food choices, proper water intake, alcohol avoidance, and supplements.  Aim for healthy, pH balanced meals and snacks packed with vegetables, herbs, spices, sour dairy, fermented foods, a little fruit, healthy fats, and some organic protein.  Take your vitamins, probiotics, and gout fighting supplements.   If you can successfully bring your uric acid levels down low enough, it will take a lot more than one bad food choice to throw you into the flames of a dreaded Gout attack.

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