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VNA of Care New England

Reducing Your Risk of Gout

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

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. To help reduce the chance of getting gout, limit foods and beverages that are high in purines. These include:
  • Organ meats, such as liver, kidney, and sweetbreads
  • Seafood and shellfish, such as lobster, crab, or sardines
  • Red meat, such as beef or lamb
  • Some vegetables, such as asparagus, cauliflower, and mushrooms
  • Gravies
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.
Drink alcohol in moderation. That is two drinks a day for men and one or less a day for women.

Lose Weight and Maintain an Appropriate Weight

Losing weight can help lower uric acid levels. If you are overweight, losing weight should help reduce the chances of getting gout. Consult your doctor for help designing a safe and effective weight loss program that includes:
If you have a hard time sticking with a new diet plan, talk to a dietitian who can help you with meal planning. Talk with your doctor or dietitian about the best weight loss options for you.

References

Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases%5FAnd%5FConditions/Gout. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/gout. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated February 13, 2013. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout overview. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/gout.html. Updated March 2010. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout - prevention of recurrent attacks. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 31, 2013. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Questions and answers about gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Gout/default.asp. Accessed July 12, 2013.

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 July 12, 2013.

What is gout? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Gout/gout%5Fff.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2013.

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