Reducing Your Risk
There are a number of measures that will help prevent gout from developing or prevent recurrence of gout attacks.
- Avoid foods high in purines.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Lose weight (if necessary) and maintain an appropriate weight.
Avoid Food High in Purines
Gout pain is caused by glass-like crystals of uric acid that build-up in your joints. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of waste products called purines. Therefore, one of the main treatments for gout is to avoid foods and beverages that are high in purines. These include:
Organ meats, such as:
- Fish roe
Legumes, such as:
- Dried beans
- Meat extracts
Alcoholic beverages, especially:
- Beer and wine
- Binge drinking of any type of alcoholic beverage
The severity of gout varies from person to person. Talk with your doctor about how strict your diet should be for your individual situation.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Fluids help flush uric acid from the body, so drinking lots of fluids can help control and prevent recurrence of gout attacks.
Lose Weight and Maintain an Appropriate Weight
Losing weight can help lower uric acid levels. If you are overweight, losing weight should help reduce your symptoms and prevent future gout attacks. However, do not go on a crash diet because this can make your gout worse. Consult your doctor for help designing a safe and effective weight loss program that includes:
- Setting a proper weight loss goal
- An appropriate diet to both lose weight and maintain a proper weight.
- A regular exercise program.
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
The Merck Manual of Medical Information.17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.
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