WORK WITH YOUR DOCTOR

Talk to your doctor about your gout treatment plan. Use this guide to help get you started.

DOCTOR DISCUSSION
GUIDE

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

The foods you eat aren't the cause of gout. But a high-purine diet can trigger gout attacks if you already have a high uric acid level. Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise is an important part of your overall health. So it makes sense to talk with your doctor about how improving your diet and getting more exercise can help make a difference for you.

Make sure you discuss your whole health picture with your doctor. If you notice that you have gout attacks after different foods and drinks, it's a good idea to avoid those choices. You should be aware that changing your diet alone isn't usually enough to reduce uric acid levels. In fact, even when people followed the strictest low-purine diet, they generally don't reduce their uric acid levels by much more than 1 mg/dL. Any reduction in uric acid level is positive, but you'll most likely need to do more to lower your level to the recommended target level of less than 6 mg/dL.

Healthy Tips

The role that diet plays in gout is often misunderstood, but here are some good tips that you can discuss with your doctor:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, like water. Fluids like water help remove uric acid from the body.
  • Add low-fat dairy products to your diet. Eating more of these dairy products is associated with a lower risk of gout.

High-Purine Foods

A high-purine diet is one of many things that can trigger gout attacks if you already have a high uric acid level. Limiting or avoiding these foods may help avoid triggering an attack:

gout management: high-purine meats

Meats

  • Beef
  • Organ meats
  • Pork
  • (such as liverwurst, kidney, and brain)
  • Lamb
  • Meat-based gravies
high-purine beverages: beer

Beverage

  • Beer
managing gout: high-purine seafood

Seafood

  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Scallops
  • Sardines
  • Mussels
  • Trout
  • Roe (fish eggs)
  • Codfish
  • Haddock
managing gout: high-purine vegetables

Vegetables

  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
Managing Gout: Other high-purine foods

Other

  • Oatmeal
  • Peas
  • Dried beans
  • Lentils

Low-Purine Foods

managing gout: low-purine beverages

Beverages

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Coffee
  • Milk and milk products
managing gout: low-purine vegetables

Vegetables

  • Tomatoes
  • Some types of green vegetables
low-purine foods for managing gout

Other

  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Chocolate
  • Pasta
  • Olives
  • Fruits
  • Rice
  • Cheese

Talk to your doctor about a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, pain management for gout attacks, and the long-term treatment of high uric acid that causes gout.

Part of coming up with this plan is having an honest discussion with your doctor about what you are doing right now.

  • What is your daily diet like?
  • Are you taking herbal supplements or eating a lot of particular foods (such as cherries or drinking cherry juice) that you heard might help?
  • What kind of exercise are you doing and how frequently?
  • Are you taking your medication as prescribed?

Your doctor can tell you whether or not you are on the right track.

Next: ASSESSING YOUR GOUT TREATMENT PLAN

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