If gout is causing challenges in your daily life, and making everyday tasks or mobility difficult, you may wish to explore what gout products are available to help. There are many daily living aids that can help. Here is a selection of daily living aids that may provide temporary or more long term help or relief for those living with gout, depending on the activities they are finding difficult:
• Elevating the legs may help if gout occurs in your feet:
o Tuffet Leg Rest
• Keeping bedding away from your legs may help relieve discomfort if your lower limbs are affected by gout, making the area sensitive or painful to touch:
o Blanket Cradle
• Getting around may be difficult if you have gout in your feet:
o Walking stick
• Picking things up may be difficult if you have gout in your fingers or hands:
• Carrying things may be difficult if you have gout in your fingers or hands and need to transfer things around the home:
o Walking trolley
• Gripping cutlery can be difficult if you have gout in your fingers and hands, so a fork and knife in one may help:
o Knork Fork
NRS Healthcare provides a range of products and gout aids for daily living that may provide gout help. If you need further advice, our team of in-house Occupational Therapists are on hand to recommend products to suit your needs. Contact them on 0345 121 8111 or email [email protected]
PLEASE NOTE: our Product Advice Team can only give advice about equipment and products which may help you to live more independently. They cannot give any advice on medications or treatments for symptoms of this condition.
Diet for gout
Gout is not solely caused by diet, but making changes to your diet can help prevent gout. This is because gout is caused by a high level of uric acid in the body, which is a by-product of purine. Purine is found in foods such as:
• Red meat e.g. beef and lamb
• Shellfish and oily fish
• Offal e.g. animal liver, heart or kidneys
Therefore, a healthy diet for gout should look to reduce the amount of (or completely remove) these foods, to try and lower the level of uric acid in the body. This should be an ongoing and permanent change, to help prevent gout occurring in the future.
You may also wish to reduce your consumption of:
• Fizzy drinks
• Fruit juices
• Yeast extracts (found in Marmite)
These may increase the level of urate in the body.
Alcohol, in particular beers, spirits and fortified wines, also cause uric acid in the blood to rise, so it is advisable to reduce your consumption of these drinks to help prevent gout.
Staying hydrated is also really important so that the kidneys work effectively to flush out urate from the body.
You may wish to read the Gout Society’s booklet All About Gout and Diet.
Some people choose to take supplements for gout, such as omega-3, Montmorency cherry capsules and Quercetin. There is little evidence to prove that taking gout supplements reduces the frequency of gout, lowers uric acid or relieves gout symptoms. However, if you are interested in taking gout supplements, speak to your GP in the first instance for advice.
Exercise for gout
Maintaining a healthy body weight and taking regular exercise can help reduce the level of uric acid in your body, or help the body to process uric acid more easily.
Gout exercises should include stretches to keep joints moving, aerobic exercise to get the heart pumping, and muscle strengthening exercises.
If you feel you need help to improve your fitness or develop a gout exercise programme, a physiotherapist may be able to help you.
Gout and employment
Many people with gout are able to work, but may need time off during an attack. Some people are able to do different duties at work when their gout symptoms flare up. Many people find that speaking to their employer about their condition can help manage workload and sick days. Your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to your job or tasks, to support you whilst you have a healthcare condition.