A common form of arthritis called gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood stream. To prevent gout, those susceptible to these attacks need to know how to lower their uric acid levels. The easiest and healthiest way to lower uric acid is though proper eating habits and medication. This includes limiting alcohol and avoiding purine rich foods, which will convert to uric acid. Read on to learn how to lower uric acid to prevent gout.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Low purine diet
- Water (including seltzer)
- Physician who specializes in treating gout patients
Maintain a healthy weight to lower uric acid. Gout sufferers are usually men over the age of 40 who are mildly to severely obese. Keep in mind that dropping a significant amount of weight in a short period of time may actually induce a gout attack. Slowly reaching a healthy weight and maintaining it through proper nutrition and exercise will lower uric acid levels to help prevent gout.
Avoid alcohol consumption to lower uric acid. Large amounts of alcohol, especially beer and wine, both rich in purines, increase uric acid levels. Alcohol prevents excess uric acid from being removed from the kidneys through the urinary tract.
Increase your dairy intake to lower your uric acid level. Low fat milk, yogurt and cheese are examples of dairy products considered helpful to gout sufferers.
Drink plenty of water to lower uric acid. Remember those eight glasses of water a day your mother wanted you to drink? Mother does know best. Liquids that are low in caffeine and calories help to remove uric acid from the blood stream. Since water is the most pure liquid, it should be consumed the most.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are not high in purine to reduce uric acid. Fresh fruits including blueberries, strawberries, bananas and cherries are some of the fruits gout sufferers should include in their diet. Celery, tomatoes, cabbage, parsley, kale and all green leaf vegetables are also helpful in low uric acid diets.
Follow your physician's orders and supplement your diet with prescribed medications to reduce uric acid levels and prevent gout. Consult a physician who specializes in treating gout patients. Doctors who specialize in orthopedics, rheumatology and arthritis may have a better handle on treating gout. There are more than a dozen medications a physician can prescribe to help the body remove uric acid from the blood stream.
Tips and warnings
- Familiarize yourself with foods that have high purine levels and then try to avoid them. Foods rich in purine include meats such as bacon, turkey, veal and venison. In addition, some types of fish, seafood and shellfish such as mussels, cod, herring, haddock and trout are all considered high in purine.
- Consult a physician before engaging in any weight loss program or diet.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist prior to starting new medication to familiarize yourself with possible risks and side effects.