GMC Blog

How to Prevent Gout?

Symptoms & Causes of Gout

What do Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Dickens have in common? Aside from being great men, these famous personalities were gout sufferers. For many centuries, gout has had the nickname of a rich man’s disease because of its association with overindulgence in red meats, seafood, and alcohol, which only the wealthy people can afford. However, as these foods have become a little more affordable these days, gout is fast becoming one of the most prevalent forms of arthritis in the country with an estimated six million adults affected.

Gout is considered as the most painful form of arthritis and usually occurs when there is too much uric acid build-up in the body. Uric acid impacts the body by developing sharp crystals in the joints, as lumps under the skin or potential kidney stones.

Symptoms include:

  • Sudden pain and swelling of the joint, particularly in the big toe, knee or ankle
  • Redness or even purplish skin around the joints
  • Nodules or lumps under your skin, usually referred to as tophi
  • Peeling and itching of the skin as a result of tophi
  • Pain while urinating as a result of kidney stones
  • Restricted range of motion in almost all of your joints

Helpful Tips to Gout Prevention

If your parents have gout, you have an increased chance of getting it, too. However, since most cases of gout are the result of overindulgence and poor lifestyle choices, gout is an often preventable disease.

Below are some helpful tips to prevent gout:

  • Drink plenty of water- Fluids can help dilute and pass uric acid in your body. Drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day and stay away from sugary drinks such as soda or fruit juice as these can aggravate gout symptoms.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol intake- Alcohol increases your gout risk by up to 25 percent. If you can’t completely avoid drinking alcohol, limit your intake to at least one glass per week and stay away from beer and sugary cocktails.
  • Make better food choices- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake and cut back on meats including poultry and fish. Opt to get your protein instead from low-fat dairy products such as milk or yogurt. You can also increase your carbohydrates as long as they are made from whole grains.
  • Maintain a healthy weight- Losing weight can decrease the uric acid levels in your body. Try cutting back on high-calorie foods and incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Gout is a serious disease. If not managed properly, it can cause permanent joint destruction, bone erosion, as well as kidney damage. Don’t let this disease define your future and start making the necessary steps to gout prevention.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.