Exercise and Adults With Gout

Exercise and Gout

Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis.1,2 Painful gout flares can happen when excess uric acid in the bloodstream causes urate crystals to build up around the joints.2 Although medication is often the most effective way to prevent recurrent attacks of gout, lifestyle changes can make a difference for adults with gout, too.3 Adjusting your diet and getting regular exercise are great ways to help prevent future gout attacks.3


The impact of excess weight on gout

Higher uric acid levels are the main reason people develop gout and suffer with flares.4 When you carry extra weight, it becomes harder for your kidneys to remove excess uric acid from your body.4 In fact, a person who is considered obese is four times more likely to develop gout than someone who is of ideal body weight.5

According to Hyon Choi, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Gout and Crystal Arthropathy Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston, “There’s a very tight association between excess weight and the risk of developing gout and gout flares. It’s a dose-response relationship, meaning the more you weigh, the higher your risk, and the more likely you are to have recurrent attacks.”4

If you are overweight, gradual weight loss can help lower your uric acid levels and help reduce the risk of gout attacks.5 Small adjustments in your eating habits and moderate exercise can make a difference.6 However, attempts to speed up weight loss with crash diets and excessive amounts of exercise can lead to a serious condition called ketoacidosis.6 In addition to other health problems, ketoacidosis has been linked to gout flares.6


Exercising with gout

Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program. Your doctor is familiar with your current health status and potential limitations and can help you determine which kinds of exercise are best for you.

Here are some other important exercise tips for people with gout:

  • Do not exercise during a flare. When you are in the midst of a gout flare, reducing inflammation is the goal.7 Move the affected area as little as possible.7 You may want to apply ice for about 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling.7
  • Start slowly. If you are new to exercise, it is important to start slowly. You can start with as little as five to 10 minutes of exercise at a time and work up to 30 minutes at a time, five days a week.8
  • Make it a habit. No matter what your age, health history or fitness level, it’s important to make physical activity part of your daily routine.9 There are many ways to fit a little extra exercise into your day, including9:

1. Standing up and/or walking around while you’re talking on the phone.

2. Taking a few extra trips up and down the stairs at home or at work each day.

3. Parking your car farther away rather than closer to the entrance of your workplace. (If you take the bus to work, try getting off a stop or two earlier than usual and walking the rest of the way.)

4. Doing as many errands as you can on foot instead of in the car or on the bus.

  • Stay hydrated. Many dietitians recommend that people with gout drink at least 64 ounces of water each day—more if they are exercising.5 Water helps the body move nutrients and waste, enables it to maintain consistent body temperature, and cushions joints and tissues.5 Some experts believe that drinking water can also help flush uric acid out of the body.4
  • Don’t get discouraged. Physical activity is important for everyone.9 If your gout limits your ability to exercise, be sure to talk with your doctor about ways you can be active in spite of these issues.


Sidestep these Foods to Avoid Gout Flare-ups

See this checklist of foods your doctor may recommend that you limit or avoid.

NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute for the guidance of a physician. These are not West-Ward’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.



  1. Arthritis Foundation website. Gout. https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/. Accessed 2/5/18.
  2. Mayo Clinic website. Gout. Symptoms & causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/symptoms-causes/syc-20372897. Accessed 2/5/18.
  3. Mayo Clinic website. Gout. Diagnosis & treatment. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372903. Accessed 2/5/18.
  4. Arthritis Foundation website. How Fat Affects Gout. https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/articles/how-fat-affects-gout.php. Accessed 2/5/18.
  5. Gout & Uric Acid Education Society website. Lifestyle Recommendations. http://gouteducation.org/medical-professionals/treating-gout/lifestyle/. Accessed 2/5/18.
  6. Tausche AK, Jansen TL, Schroder HE, et al. Gout—Current Diagnosis and Treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009; 106(34-35):549-555.
  7. OrthoInfo from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Gout. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/gout/. Accessed 2/5/18.
  8. American Heart Association website. American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WrucBYjwaUl. Accessed 2/5/18.
  9. NIH Medline Plus website. Fitness for Those with Disabilities and Older Adults. https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/winter16/articles/winter16pg10-11.html. Accessed 2/5/18.

Important Safety Information for Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules

  • Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4. Combining these dual inhibitors with colchicine in patients with renal or hepatic impairment has resulted in life-threatening or fatal colchicine toxicity. Patients with both renal and hepatic impairment should not be given Mitigare®.
  • Fatal overdoses have been reported with colchicine in adults and children. Keep Mitigare® out of the reach of children.
  • Blood dyscrasias such as myelosuppression, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and aplastic anemia have been reported with colchicine used in therapeutic doses.
  • Monitor for toxicity and if present consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of colchicine.
  • Drug interaction with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors: Co-administration of colchicine with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors has resulted in life-threatening interactions and death.
  • Neuromuscular toxicity and rhabdomyolysis may occur with chronic treatment with colchicine in therapeutic doses, especially in combination with other drugs known to cause this effect. Patients with impaired renal function and elderly patients (including those with normal renal and hepatic function) are at increased risk. Consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of Mitigare®.
  • The most commonly reported adverse reactions with colchicine are gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.


Mitigare® is indicated for prophylaxis of gout flares in adults. The safety and effectiveness of Mitigare for acute treatment of gout flares during prophylaxis has not been studied.

Mitigare® is not an analgesic medication and should not be used to treat pain from other causes.

For Full Prescribing Information please CLICK HERE and for Medication Guide CLICK HERE.

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Important Safety Information for Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules

  • Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4.