Specific Strategies to Avoid Gout

Gout Prevention Strategies

The next step in gout prevention is doing something about the risk factors you can control, such as your weight, physical activity level, diet, and alcohol usage. Some strategies for preventing gout include:
 
  • Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding foods that are high in purines (see Gout Diet) while increasing the quantities of low-fat dairy products you eat.
     
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Fluids help remove uric acid from the body.
     
  • Exercising regularly.
     
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight. Lose weight if you are overweight, but do not go on diets designed for quick or extreme loss of weight because they increase uric acid levels in the blood.
     
  • Limiting your intake of alcohol or not drinking alcohol at all. Alcohol interferes with the removal of uric acid from the body.
     
For someone who has already had a gout attack, another key part of prevention is taking the gout medications your doctor prescribes. Carefully follow his or her instructions about how much medicine to take, as well as when to take it.
 
Also, tell your doctor about all the medicines and vitamins you are currently taking. He or she can tell you if any of them increase your risk of hyperuricemia (increased uric acid in the blood). Finally, plan follow-up visits with your doctor to evaluate your progress.
 

Final Thoughts

Preventing gout begins with learning about gout risk factors. It then involves modifying any of those factors that you can control.
 
Although many risk factors can be avoided, it is important to keep in mind that avoiding risk factors does not guarantee that you will not get gout. Some people are more sensitive than others are to factors that can cause gout. Talk with your doctor about other prevention methods that might be effective for you.
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