Q. How can I decrease my risk of gout?
The following factors should be considered in decreasing the risk of gout:
Avoidance of meat. Studies have found that people eating the highest amount of red meat, poultry or fish have higher uric acid levels and a significantly greater risk for developing gout.
Weight control. Compared with men at or near their ideal weight, overweight men (BMI of 25 to 29.9) have almost double the risk for developing gout. Risk is nearly tripled for those with a BMI of 35 or greater.
Avoidance of alcohol. Serum uric acid is associated with alcohol intake in men.
Kidney stones. Gout appears to increase the risk for kidney stones, and consuming 2 liters or more of water per day may be helpful in reducing the risk of stone formation in gout patients.
During the acute phase, gout often responds well to a combination of diet therapy and medication. Loss of excess weight may enhance treatment by improving the kidney’s ability to clear uric acid from the blood. Avoidance of alcohol and meat is important for lowering blood levels of uric acid and may also reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome that often accompany elevated uric acid.