Do diuretics taken to control high blood pressure sometimes cause gout?

Answers from April Chang-Miller, M.D.

Yes. Diuretics can increase your risk of developing gout, a type of arthritis caused by the deposit of uric acid crystals in a joint.

This may happen because diuretics make you urinate more, which reduces the amount of fluid in your body. But the remaining fluid is more concentrated, which can increase the risk that you'll develop the crystals that cause gout. Some types of diuretics also reduce the kidneys' excretion of urate, a component of uric acid.

There are many other types of blood pressure medications that don't increase your risk of gout. Also, many of the measures you take to reduce blood pressure have the added benefit of lowering uric acid. These measures include:

  • Eating a healthy diet, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and reduced servings of meat and whole-fat dairy products
  • Drinking little to no alcohol
  • Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight based on your body mass index
Nov. 25, 2014