What should I do to prevent gout attacks in the future?
Uric acid is a natural byproduct of when your body breaks down purines. Foods like organ meats,
anchovies, herring, asparagus and mushrooms that are especially high in purines can cause uric
acid build-up. Uric acid normally dissolves in your bloodstream and is processed by your
kidneys and passed into your urine. But when there is an excess of uric acid or your kidneys
don't excrete enough, it can for sharp, needle-like urate crystals. These crystals can cause
inflammation, pain and swelling.
Uric acid build-ups cause gout and inflame your joints.
You can follow these dietary guidelines to help prevent future gout attacks:
- Drink plenty of water. Keep hydrated by drinking 2 to 4 liters (8 to 16 cups) of
fluids every day. Water should make up at least half of your total fluid intake
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Consult your doctor to see if any type of alcohol or how
much is safe for you. Recent studies state that beer may even increase your risk of
experiencing gout symptoms - especially for males
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Diet should be a major concern for people with gout.
Your diet should be made up of fruits, whole grains, vegetables and either low-fat or fat-free
- Avoid eating meat, fish and poultry. Eating too much meat, fish and poultry may
cause gout flare-ups. Document how much and what types of meat you're eating and keep track of
what seems to cause flare-ups for you
- Use low-fat dairy products for protein. Without meat, you may be wondering what will
make up your daily protein intake. You should eat and drink more low-fat dairy products.
Studies have shown that low-fat milk products may even protect you against gout. So use these
instead of eating meats for protein
- Watch your weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight may be one of the best weapons
against gout flare-ups. Losing weight can even decrease uric acid levels and prevent flare-ups.
But make sure to avoid rapid weight loss and starving yourself, since this can temporarily
raise uric acid levels in your body
Read an In-Depth Report on gout in our Health Encyclopedia.
If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.