Gout Lifestyle Changes

In addition to eating a healthy diet, there are many other steps that gout patients can take to manage their gout.

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  • Know Your Uric Acid Level – Uric acid levels should be checked at least twice per year. The goal should be to have your uric acid level below 6 mg/dL.

  • Exercise Regularly – Adults should engage in moderate-intensity physical activities for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing the intensity or the amount of time you are physically active can have even greater health benefits, and may be needed to prevent weight gain. Talk with your doctor to develop an appropriate exercise program that is tailored to your body, lifestyle and needs.

  • Maintain a Healthy Body Weight – An obese person is four times more likely to develop gout than someone with ideal body weight. If weight loss is necessary, talk to your doctor to determine the best plan of action. Avoid crash diets, since fast or extreme weight loss can increase the amount of uric acid in the body. High-protein diets may be a problem for people with gout because of the high-purine foods on many of the diets, especially red meat and shellfish.

  • Stay Hydrated – Many dietitians recommend consuming at least 64 ounces of water daily, and more if you are exercising. Water helps the body transport nutrients and waste, regulates body temperature and cushions joints and tissues. Research also suggests that drinking adequate water might guard against kidney stones and constipation. Some experts believe that drinking water can help remove uric acid from the bloodstream. Avoid sports drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.

  • Take Vitamins – The risk of gout appears to be lower in men taking daily vitamins. Vitamin C may be a useful supplement in the 500 to 1000 mg per day range.