The key to preventing gout is knowing the risk factors for gout, then doing something about the ones that you can control. Some risk factors include a family history of gout, being male, being overweight or obese, and eating too many foods rich in purines. Using certain medications (such as niacin and diuretics) can also increase your risk. Prevention strategies can include exercising regularly; drinking plenty of fluids, especially water; and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
How to Prevent Gout: An OverviewDoctors cannot always explain why one person gets gout and another person does not. However, scientists have studied the general patterns of gout in the population to learn what things around us, and what things we do in our lives, may increase our chances of having a gout attack.
Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a risk factor. Gout prevention means knowing gout risk factors, then doing something about the ones that you can control.
Preventing Gout: Know the Risk FactorsThe first step in preventing gout is knowing what the risk factors for gout are. Some gout risk factors can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, men are more likely to develop gout, a risk factor which obviously cannot be changed.
Studies have identified the following gout risk factors:
- A family history of gout
- Being male
- Being overweight or obese (see BMI Calculator to learn if your weight is within a healthy range)
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating too many foods rich in purines (see Gout Diet for foods high in purines)
- Being exposed to lead in the environment
- Having had an organ transplant
- Having any of the following conditions:
- Diabetes insipidus
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Diabetic ketoacidosis or lactic acidosis
- Preeclampsia (also known as toxemia of pregnancy)
- Down syndrome
- Glucose-6-phosphatase deficiency
- Fructose-1-phosphate deficiency
- Kidney problems, including renal insufficiency or polycystic kidney disease.
- Using some medicines, including: