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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Gout

Lifestyle changes cannot cure gout, but they can help control uric acid levels in the blood, which lead to gout attacks. Lifestyle recommendations include:

Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages

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 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
  • Salty 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 alcohol
  • High-fructose drinks, which include sugar-sweetened soda and sweetened juice

Diet

A well-rounded healthful diet 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 overweight, 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.

References:

Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 2015. Accessed February 24, 2017.
Gout. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115215/Gout. Updated September 2, 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017.
Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017.
Gout management—prevention of recurrent attacks. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 4, 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017.
Gout management—treatment of acute attack. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated October 13, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2017.
Gout self care. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed February 24, 2017.
What are purines and in which foods are they found? World's Healthiest Foods website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed February 24, 2017.
Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 3/15/2015

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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