by Christian Parlade
The answer is a qualified "yes".
Gout is caused by the extended elevation of uric acid (UA) level in the body. Therefore, any process that helps excrete uric acid should help. Urination and perspiration are such processes.
So why is it a qualified yes?
A key concept to remember is that dehydration increases the concentration of UA. That's why we consistently find drinking lots of water as a gout treatment.
Another concept to remember is that urination is a lot more efficient at excreting uric acid that perspiration. At a glance, sweat has 99% water while urine has 95% water. Sweat is said to contain uric acid, urea and lactic acid, among others. How does this tie in?
Given the same water intake, a person that sweats more will urinate less. That situation could actually push UA concentration higher. The key is to always be hydrated. The net effect you'd want to have is to urinate the same or more AND to sweat the same or more. Both urination and perspiration serve to eliminate toxins so increasing their output is generally helpful to the body.
Does this mean a heavy workout will help gout?
Well, not really. I was just talking about heat induced perspiration (weather, sauna, etc). Strenuous exercise can actually increase UA production and will thus be counter productive. On a related note, keep in mind too that warm weather makes uric acid more soluble. So while you're sweating, the warmth is also benefiting your condition in another way.