How to prevent gout

Gout is a very painful type of arthritis, or joint inflammation; it occurs when uric acid builds up in the body, and tiny crystals get deposited in various tissues, but particularly in the joints. It can be either acute or chronic. Acute gout affects only a single joint; chronic gout refers to repeated episodes of inflammation usually occurring in more than one joint. Gout is caused by the body’s inability to properly dispose of uric acid, which is essentially a byproduct of the food we eat. A “gout attack” is very sudden and distressing. Men and women can both experience gout, but it is more common in women. Regardless of who is struck with a bout of gout, there are ways to prevent it from happening in the first place; you will be much better off if you did them! Prevention can begin after an acute gout attack has occurred or before any sort of thing even happens at all.

After the symptoms of a gout attack have completely subsided, medication will be prescribed by your doctor to prevent a future inflammation. Low doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin, low dose colchicine (used specifically to prevent gout attacks), or other medications for gout called allopurinol, febuxostat, or probenecid.

Drinking lots of fluids, particularly water, is great for the prevention of many conditions, and, yep, you guessed it…gout is one of them. Make an effort to drink 8 to 16 cups of fluid a day, making at least half of these servings from water. If you think about it, that’s not really that much. It’s about 2 bottles of water and a couple other drinks every day. In a span of 24 hours, I think you can manage that.

Whether or not you should drink alcohol should be decided on an individual basis. Talking with a doctor is the best way to decide if alcohol is safe. Beer has shown to have a higher risk of causing gout.

Balanced Diet
There are dietary guidelines available for all Americans and following them is a good way to prevent gout. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products are all part of that diet. In fact, low fat dairy products are a great source of protein and a great one to choose to prevent gout. Meat, fish, and poultry should be eaten in small amounts, and you should pay close attention to how they affect you. Meat and seafood in general are rich in purine, which is converted in the body directly to uric acid, so eating foods with a high amount of it can cause a greater instance of gout. Fructose in soft drinks causes gout as well.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity contributes to gout. Losing weight can help decrease uric acid levels in the body, and make you feel better overall. On the other hand, you must lose weight gradually and in a safe manner, because rapid weight loss and fasting can cause a temporary increase of uric acid levels that can build up in the body. Reducing dietary fat and total calories is the best way to lose weight. You may feel better speaking with a health professional, such as a physician or dietitian, about a diet to suit your needs and lifestyle. Starting an exercise program can help to burn calories and contribute to weight loss, too.

Controlling Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is also a contributing factor to gout. Preventing or treating high blood pressure will definitely be a good thing to prevent this type of arthritis, or for that matter, many other health conditions.

Last updated on Mar 16th, 2011 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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