Preventing painful gout outbreaks involves limiting the consumption of alcohol and the foods that elevate uric acid levels in the body, such as mussels, bacon, sardines and meat. For people who have had gout outbreaks in the past, there are also medications to fight uric acid buildup, notes WebMD.
Everyone has uric acid in their bloodstream as part of the normal process of breaking down such foods as seafood, poultry and meat. With normal people, the uric acid goes out through the kidneys and is included in urine. If the body develops too much, though, the excess uric acid (a condition known as hyperuricemia) can aggregate into sharp, needle-shaped crystals that gather in the joints, causing pain and inflammation in joints and nearby tissue, according to Medical News Today.
Some risk factors for gout (in addition to diet) include gender, as men generate more uric acid than women do, at least before menopause; genetics, as family history elevates the risk of gout; chronic exposure to lead; regimens of diuretics and medicines with salicylate; and carrying around extra weight. Discussing medications with one's physician and watching weight can go a long way toward preventing initial or future gout attacks, states Medical News Today.