• Reducing Your Risk of Gout

    There are a number of measures that will help prevent gout from developing or prevent recurrence of gout attacks.

    Change Your Diet

    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 (eg, liver, kidney, brain, sweetbread, heart)
    • Fish roe
    • Mussels
    • Anchovies
    • Herring
    • Sardines
    • Legumes (eg, dried beans, peas, soybeans)
    • Meat extracts
    • Consommé
    • Gravies
    • Mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Asparagus
    • Cauliflower
    • Poultry
    • Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine—Be sure to avoid binge drinking of any type of alcohol.
    In addition to avoiding foods high in purines, you should reduce your intake of high-fructose drinks. Examples include sugar-sweetened sodas and orange juice.
    The severity of gout varies from person to person. Talk with your doctor about how strict your diet should be.

    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. For more information on achieving and maintaining a healthful weight, click here .
    • A regular exercise program. For more information on starting a regular exercise program, click here .


    American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html .

    American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/ .

    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .

    The Merck Manual of Medical Information. 17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.

    12/3/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Choi HK, Willett W, Curhan G. Fructose-rich beverages and risk of gout in women. JAMA. 2010;304(20):2270-2278.

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