Lifestyle Changes to Manage Gout
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There is no treatment that will cure gout, but there are steps to control symptoms and prevent complications.
General Guidelines for Managing Gout
- ]]>Avoid foods high in purines.]]>
- ]]>Drink plenty of fluids.]]>
- ]]>Lose weight (if necessary) and maintain an appropriate weight.]]>
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, such as:
- Fish roe
Legumes, such as:
- Dried beans
- Meat extracts
Alcoholic beverages, especially:
- Beer and wine
- Binge drinking of any type of alcoholic beverage
The severity of gout varies from person to person. Talk with your doctor about how strict your diet should be for your individual situation.
Fluids help flush uric acid from the body, so drinking lots of fluids can help control and prevent the recurrence of gout attacks.
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.
- A ]]>regular exercise program]]> .
When to Contact Your Doctor
You should contact your doctor if:
- Your symptoms worsen or do not improve
- You feel weak or ill or develop other problems after starting a weight loss and/or exercise program
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.
Last reviewed February 2009 by ]]>Jill D. Landis, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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