Gout

Controlling Gout

Fortunately, gout can be controlled. People with gout can decrease the severity of attacks and reduce their risk of future attacks by taking their medications as prescribed. Acute gout is best controlled if medications are taken at the first sign of pain or inflammation. Other steps you can take to stay healthy and minimize gout’s effect on your life include the following:

  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines and vitamins you take. He or she can tell you if any of them increase your risk of hyperuricemia. (Hyperuricemia is the build up of uric acid in the blood, a condition that can lead to gout.)
  • Plan followup visits with your doctor to evaluate your progress.
  • Drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids, especially water. Nonalcoholic fluids help remove uric acid from the body. Alcohol, on the other hand, can raise the levels of uric acid in your blood.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy body weight. Lose weight if you are overweight, but avoid low-carbohydrate diets that are designed for quick weight loss. When carbohydrate intake is insufficient, your body can’t completely burn its own fat. As a consequence, substances called ketones form and are released into the bloodstream, resulting in a condition called ketosis. After a short time, ketosis can increase the level of uric acid in your blood.
  • Avoid foods that are high in purines. They can increase the risk for gout. High-purine foods include
    • anchovies
    • asparagus
    • beef kidneys
    • brains
    • dried beans and peas
    • game meats
    • gravy
    • herring
    • liver
    • mackerel
    • mushrooms
    • sardines
    • scallops
    • sweetbreads.