"The best medicine I know for rheumatism is to thank the Lord that it ain't gout."
Preventative measures should be taken by anyone with gout to reduce the risk of further gout attacks. Providing treatment is given in the early stages and proper preventative measures are taken, people with gout can lead full and healthy lives.
Medical Measures - Allopurinol
Allopurinol (Zyloric) is often used as a preventative measure against gout attacks especially when treatments for gout attacks are unsuccessful.
Allopurinol works by lowering uric acid levels and becomes fully effective after 2 to 3 months. Allopurinol is normally taken after a gout attack to prevent another one.
Allopurinol has few side effects - hypersensitivity syndrome is a possible side effect from using Allopurinol.
Purines are substances found in foods which when broken down form uric acid. Purine rich foods to avoid with gout include:
- Offal (e.g. kidneys, tripe, liver).
- Red meats.
- Shellfish, fish roe and scallops.
- Pulse foods including peas lentils and beans.
Gout - low purine foods : people with gout should eat more raw fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts. Cherries and strawberries are recommended. Uric acid and vinegar based foods should be avoided.
Reduce alcohol intake.
Alcohol especially taken in the form of beer and wine can increase uric acid levels. The purine levels beer and wine are related to gout flareups. Limit alcoholic drinks to one or two measures a day. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent further attacks.
Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids especially water helps eliminate uric acid from the body.
Exercise and weight loss
Individuals with gout should exercise regularly and maintain a health body weight. Exercise also helps to prevent stress. Rapid weight loss should be avoided as this can raise uric acid levels in the blood.
Avoiding stress is an important preventative measure against future gout attacks. A healthy mind often means a healthy body.
By adopting a 'gout diet', taking regular exercise, drinking plenty of fluids whilst reducing alcohol intake, further gout attacks can be avoided.
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