Gout & Flying

April 8, 2012 in Gout Related

There is truthfully very little to say about gout & flying – it is a non-issue.

There is absolutely no connection between gout and flying, but there could be general health concerns that apply to everyone – not just gout patients. These concerns will be exacerbated by longer flights.

Essentially, there are no specific changes that affect you during flight, but there may be secondary problems that make flying difficult for the gout patient. These are issues of mobility and hydration.

Gout & Flying: Mobility

Sitting still for hours is not unique to flying. Long journeys by most methods of transport involve the same immobility, as does many jobs.

I cannot find any gout studies about the affects of immobility on gout, so I will write from my own experiences. I have found that long periods of sitting can make knee and ankle joints very stiff, making walking difficult. One advantage of air travel against driving is that, unless you are the pilot, you can make time to keep joints moving. The exercises recommended to avoid deep vein thrombosis are good for gout patients. Standing and walking are encouraged, so trips to the toilet help, combined with…

Gout & Flying: Hydration

You should be aware that water is the gout sufferers friend.

Flying can lead to dehydration as cabin air is often dry, and some flight operators make it hard to replenish fluids. Water is good, but any fluids will do, though excess alcohol should be avoided. Check before you fly that drinks will be available, and check the security implications of taking your own fluids on board.

Gout & Flying: Next Steps

I have explained there is no problem with flying if you have gout. For most people, flying indicates a vacation or important business trip that would be ruined by a gout attack. This can lead to anxiety, but the best way to beat that stress is to be prepared.

Follow the advice about mobility and hydration, but also ensure that you have your gout meds with you – they may be hard to replace at your destination if you forget them. If you have colchicine, it is good to start taking this as a preventative a few days before your flight, and during your vacation.

Enjoy your flight!


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