Lifestyle changes can't cure gout, but they can help control uric acid levels in the blood, which lead to gout attacks. Lifestyle recommendations include:
Uric acid is created by the breakdown of purines found in certain foods. Avoid or limit foods and beverages that are high in purines such as: Organ meats, such as liver, kidney, and sweetbreadsSeafood and shellfish, such as lobster, crab, or sardinesRed meat, such as beef or lambSome vegetables, such as asparagus, cauliflower, and mushroomsSalty foods, sauces, and gravies
Blood uric acid levels can also be influenced by some foods and beverages that aren't high in purines such as: Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, during an acute attack—people with recurrent gout should always avoid alcoholHigh-fructose drinks, which include sugar-sweetened soda and sweetened juice
is important for overall well-being and maintaining a healthy weight. Be sure to get adequate amounts of calories, protein, and calcium. In general, eat less saturated and more mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Excess weight can put extra stress on your joints. If you are
, talk to your doctor or a dietitian about dietary options.
It's important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Fluids help flush uric acid from the body and help prevent recurrent gout attacks.
Talk to your doctor about adding bing sweet cherries and/or vitamin C supplements to your diet. These may help reduce uric acid levels and gout symptoms.
Be an active participant in your care. Talk to your healthcare team about symptoms or treatments that you are having difficulty with. Other treatments options may be available to help you better manage your health.
ACR publishes guidelines for pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment of gout. Am Fam Physician. 2013;88(6):408-412.
Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Gout. Updated September 2012. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/gout_ff.asp. Updated July 2010. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Gout testing. American Association for Clinical Chemistry Lab Tests Online website. Available at: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/gout/start/1. Updated June 25, 2013. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Pittman JR, Bross MH. Diagnosis and management of gout. Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(7):1799-1806.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, 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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