Let’s look at dehydration, what it means, what its consequences are, and what you – as a gout sufferer – need to do about it.
First, here’s a fact: people found dead due to dehydration in the oven-like Australian outback are often found with plenty of water on or with them!
Experts put this down to the fact that they didn’t drink water frequently enough so that, without even realizing it, they reached such a state of dehydration that they became unconscious and eventually died.
Special forces, operating in such conditions, are trained to drink smaller amounts of water more frequently and regularly so that their body never gets a chance to become dehydrated.
But what about the rest of us?
Many of us are almost permanently in a state of some dehydration. With busy lives, and always on the move, we tend not to stop and drink enough liquids to keep us in a healthy, hydrated state.
And this is particularly important when you suffer from gout…
Dehydration and Gout
Uric acid becomes much less soluble in a dehydrated body, making it much more difficult for your liver and kidneys to process and flush excess acid from the body, and very much easier for those excruciating uric acid crystals to appear in your joints.
Dehydration is a well-recognized trigger for gout. So one of the simplest ways to manage your gout problem and prevent recurring gout attacks is to keep your body well hydrated.
Unfortunately, popular drinks such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, other carbonated beverages, and alcohol are no substitute for water…
Although they contain water, they also contain other ‘stuff’ that we just don’t need. And some, such as alcohol – a known gout trigger – can have a dehydrating effect on your body.
Pure fresh water is much more effective. And not just in preventing gout; it’s vital for the proper functioning of your body and maintaining optimum health.
Water is needed in all of your body’s cells, organs, and tissues to maintain bodily functions and help regulate its temperature.
And, of special interest to you as a gout victim, it also functions as a cushion and lubricant for your joints.
The average human body is between 60 and 70 percent water and healthy kidneys can process between 0.20 to 0.25 gallons (26 to 32 ounces) of it every hour.
Experts have proposed that, when you have gout, you should consume ten to twelve eight-ounce glasses of water a day, two of which are generally available in the food you eat.
And, instead of drinking your daily allowance in two or three massive ‘splurges’ – which can be dangerous by the way – drink smaller amounts more frequently and regularly throughout the day.
One glass directly before bed and one glass as soon as you get up in the morning is also a good idea.
If you feel water is too boring, squeeze a slice of lemon into it.
And if you’re concerned about drinking tap water, there are several alternatives you can choose from:
- Bulk water sold in one-gallon jugs are popular, they are often processed from ordinary tap water.
- If you want water from protected springs and wells, you can look for words like ‘spring’ or ‘artesian’ on the label.
- Another alternative is sparkling water which is just carbonated water.
- Mineral water contains dissolved minerals, which are either natural or added.
- Seltzer water is filtered, carbonated tap water that has no added mineral salts.
The key takeaway today is that, as a gout sufferer, you need to stay hydrated to help prevent crystal formation and to help your kidneys do their job of flushing that excess uric acid from your body.