There is no treatment that will cure gout, but there are steps to control symptoms and prevent complications.
- 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 .
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
- Reviewer: Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
- Review Date: 09/2011 -
- Update Date: 09/01/2011 -