Gout & the Holidays

Delicious food, time with family and holiday cheer are right around the corner. While the holidays are a time of excitement, they can also cause anxiety for people living with gout.

Will I have a flare after Thanksgiving dinner? What if I have a flare away from home? Will my family understand what I’m going through?

If you’re wondering how to manage your gout this holiday season, here are a few tips to guide you.

  1. Schedule any outstanding appointments now
    A lot of doctor’s offices have shortened holiday hours. Plan ahead and make your appointments early so you don’t run into problems over the holidays – or end up waiting until the new year to see your doctor. If you’ve never visited a doctor about gout before, now is a great time to schedule an appointment.

  2. Refill your prescriptions
    Ask your doctor for any prescription refills that you may need to get you through the holiday season. If you are concerned about getting a flare, talk to your doctor about obtaining a prescription treatment for a “just-in-case” scenario. Remember, doctor’s offices and pharmacies may have shortened holiday hours, so get the prescriptions you need before they close.

  3. Pack your medications
    Traveling for the holidays? Don’t forget to pack your medications. Keep them in your carry-on bag just in case you get separated from your checked luggage. The best way to avoid a flare while traveling during the holidays is to continue taking your medications regularly, just as you would at home.

  4. Know your triggers
    Do you know what triggers a gout flare? Try to avoid it, no matter how tempting certain party trays and holiday foods may be. Know what foods are high in purine, and eat those only in moderation. Also consider keeping a food diary so you can identify any new triggers. This can help you eliminate those foods from your diet.

  5. Have a plan
    Gout can strike at any time. If you’re traveling, do you have everything you need to get you through a flare?  On top of bringing all of your medications, don’t be afraid to share what you are going through with your family.

  6. Enjoy the holidays
    If you manage your gout, it will not manage you or get in the way of enjoying the season. Avoid trigger foods, eat and drink in moderation, and stay consistent with your medication. Don’t let gout dampen your holidays.

With these tips you’ll be ready to celebrate with your loved ones while successfully managing your gout. And don’t forget to connect with more than 14,500 gout patients in the Gout Support Group of America Facebook group to share stories and seek advice.