Researchers based out of AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand have discovered another environmental factor leading to gout flares- your footwear.
We found that gout patients in our study often wore improper footwear and experienced moderate to severe foot pain, impairment and disability," explains Professor Keith Rome, who led the research team.
Just over half of the subjects wore proper footwear, which includes walking shoes, athletic shoes ("sneakers") and loafers. All of these shoes have a solid foot bed, for good arch, ankle and knee support, and are close-toed. However, 42% of gout sufferers wore unsuitable shoes such as flip-flops, sandals and moccasins. Another factor of good shoes is their age. Some of the sufferers were wearing the right shoes, but researchers were finding them to be over 12 months old or older. The benefits of good shoes steadily decrease as the get older and more worn.
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When choosing which shoes to wear or buy, consider these factors once you slip a pair on:
Cushioning - Do you feel your feet lightly depress the insole? Do your toes have wiggle room?
Support - Can you feel the shoe all along the bottom of your foot? An important detail many people forget is arch support. A lack of arch support can over time cause ankles to turn in, causing discomfort which may eventually radiate upwards towards the knees and hips.
Stability - Walk around your house or the store. Do you feel your ankles turning in or outwards? Are your feet staying firmly in the shoes?
Motion Control - Walk quickly and slowly. Do you feel your feet moving in the shoes?
Wear - before putting on that old pair of sneakers to garden, consider what they felt like when you first bought them. Over time, our weight breaks down the sponge or gel insoles, losing that important support and stability in your shoes. If you notice they are 100% conformed and depressed to your foot's shape, it may be time for a new pair.
Good foot support is important in many ways for gout sufferers. A properly fitted shoe should be comfortably snug, but not tight. Too tight and too loose (flip flops) shoes can irregular circulation. Regular, circulation is essential for flushing of uric acid, buildups of which cause painful gout flare ups. Comfortable shoes are also important for keeping active. An active lifestyle has been proven to lessen the severity of gout flares-but no one wants to exercise if their feet hurt. Talk to your doctor about your gout, and ask if your shoes may be affecting your comfort.
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Your doctor may also prescribe colchicine, an herb-based drug used to prevent and treat gout attacks. Read more about colchicine here. You may also buy colchicine from a Canadian online pharmacy to save money on your prescription. We recommend Big Mountain Drugs, a licensed Canadian pharmacy that was also verified by PharmacyChecker.com, North America's leading pharmacy verification program.