What can someone do to prevent gout arthritis flare up?

Medication. Gout is caused by the inability of your body to eliminate waste products. When the levels get too high, crystals form and are deposited in your joints, causing the severe pain. There are medications which can help prevent the build up of waste products in your blood stream. Speak to your doctor to determine if these would work for you.
Medications, usually. Once a person has gout it is typically a chronic problem that will require medication to keep it under control, similar to high blood pressure or diabetes. Usually, taking a medication such as Allopurinol regularly to reduce the level of uric acid (the cause of gout) is necessary. Changes in diet and lifestyle are sometimes helpful but usually not sufficient.