If you've been diagnosed with gout and are taking medication to control the condition, you might be surprised to know that there are more things that you can do to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some non pharmacological lifestyle modifications/alternative medicine suggestions from the Mayo Clinic:
- Drink 8 to 16 cups (about 2 to 4 liters) of fluid each day, with at least half being water.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Eat a moderate amount of protein, preferably from healthy sources, such as low-fat or fat-free dairy, tofu, eggs, and nut butters.
- Limit your daily intake of meat, fish and poultry to 4 to 6 ounces (113 to 170 grams).
- Some foods may actually help prevent recurrence of gout attacks; one simply needs to include these items in their diet. Interestingly, coffee (decaf or regular) has been shown to lower uric acid levels, although the mechanism is not understood. A reasonable intake of vitamin C through food sources and supplements is also beneficial, but caution is in order: Mega doses of vitamin C tend to have to opposite effect, causing elevated uric acid levels. Cherries and other dark colored fruits such as blackberries and blueberries, tend to help keep uric acid levels in check--as with coffee, the reason is unclear.
- As for pain management during a gout attack, general non pharmacological pain prevention such as meditation can be of help. Other relaxations techniques--deep breathing exercises, for one--can also be useful.
Sources: Wikimedia, MayoClinic