There are no specific guidelines to help prevent gout, but there are ways to reduce the risk of acute attacks and maintain joint health. Managing certain risk factors may help. Steps include:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is linked to increased uric acid levels. Eat more vegetables, low- or non-fat dairy, and mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
- Exercise regularly—Moderate exercise helps with weight control and overall well-being. Talk to your doctor about which exercises will benefit you the most. Avoid intense exercises that strain muscles and joints.
- Drink alcohol in moderation—Excess alcohol consumption is associated with gout. Moderate alcohol intake means 2 drinks or less per day for men, and 1 drink or less per day for women. Choosing not to drink alcohol is also acceptable.
- Avoid foods that contain high amounts of purines. These include red meats, seafood, and foods high in salt.
Talk to your doctor about adding bing sweet cherries and/or vitamin C supplements to your diet. These may help reduce uric acid levels. Keep in mind that supplements and herbal medications may interact with medications you currently take. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medications and supplements you may be taking to learn about possible problems.
Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Gout. Updated September 2012. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 28, 2014. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/gout_ff.asp. Updated July 2010. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Pittman JR, Bross MH. Diagnosis and management of gout. Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(7):1799-1806.
What are purines and in which foods are they found? World's Healthiest Foods website. Available at:
http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=51. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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