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What are Gout Causes? Find here 8+ Answers to your most important Questions

Gout is a chronic disease caused by an excess of uric acid in the blood, known as hyperuricaemia. Microcrystals of uric acid can then deposit in the joints and surrounding tissues, creating inflammation or inflammatory arthropathy. Those are gout causes.

Gout is manifested by the occurrence of inflammatory joint flare-ups called “gout attacks”. It is one of the microcrystalline arthropathies, also known as microcrystalline rheumatism.

Gout Causes

Gout is a type of arthritis that mainly affects men between the ages of 50 and 60 and in particular those from a family of ‘gout sufferers’ (who tend to produce a lot of uric acid).[1] People who suffer from gout are often prone to attacks of renal colic. Gout causes are diverse. Obesity and overeating are part of gout causes and make the disease worse.[2]

Other conditions can also cause a gout attack, particularly in women after the menopause: kidney failure, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, psoriasis, alcoholism, etc. Medications (e.g. some diuretics) can cause high uric acid levels and need to be monitored regularly to make a gout diagnosis.[3]

There are many risk factors for gout. They may be genetic, age-related, related to dietary and/or sedentary behaviour, or even related to another disease or the use of certain medications.

Genetic predisposition, age and sex of the person

Gout may run in families. Gout is then due to a defect in the elimination of uric acid (90% of cases) linked to genetic mutations.

Before the age of 65, gout is four times more common in men than in women and three times more common after the age of 65.

However, in the last 20 years, the incidence of gout has doubled in women. In general, gout starts 10 years later in women than in men and occurs after the menopause. However, women with an early menopause (before the age of 45) may develop gout at a younger age.

Abnormally high blood levels of uric acid

Gout is a disease in which a deposit of uric acid crystals builds up in the joints, due to high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricaemia). The accumulation of crystals causes painful inflammatory attacks (flares) in and around the joints. Gout is often hereditary.

Abnormally high blood levels of uric acid are the result of:[4]

  • decreased elimination of uric acid by the kidneys (most common cause) or the gastrointestinal system
  • excessive consumption of purine-rich foods and/or alcohol (usually a more limited factor)
  • excessive production of uric acid (rarely)

Inability of the kidneys to remove uric acid

In general, the level of uric acid in the blood is abnormally high when the kidneys are not able to eliminate enough of it in the urine. The cause is usually determined by the person’s genes. Excess uric acid in the blood results in the formation and deposition of uric acid crystals in and around the joints. Things that can impair the ability of the kidneys to remove uric acid also include:[5]

  • certain types of kidney disease
  • certain medications
  • lead poisoning

A “rich man’s disease”

Too much consumption of purine-rich foods (such as liver, kidney, anchovies, asparagus, herring, sauces and meat broths, mushrooms, mussels, sardines, entremets,…) can increase the level of uric acid in the blood.[6] On the other hand, a strict low-purine diet lowers the uric acid level only slightly. In the past, because meat and fish were rarely eaten, gout was considered a “rich man’s disease”.

The combination of a diet high in purines and the consumption of alcohol or especially drinks containing high fructose corn syrup can make the situation worse, as all these drinks can increase the production of uric acid while interfering with its elimination by the kidneys.[7]

Learn more: Special Gout Diet.

Take care!

It is important to recognize early symptoms of gout and chose the good treatments. Gout often occurs in joints that have already been injured. 95% of gout patients have had a previous attack on the big toe, as it is very common for most people to injure this area repeatedly in their lifetime. It’s very probable that previous injuries are what causes gout in feet.[8] Pain and swelling are so strong that people who suffer from gout attack look for an immediate gout pain relief or a 10 minute gout cure.

For unknown reasons, not all people with abnormally high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) develop gout.[9] Thus, gout should not be diagnosed with a blood test alone.

Gout Home Remedies

Here special products for gout: Curcumin and Boswellia.

gout causes  gout causes

What are the first signs of having gout?

Warning signs of a gout attack are easy to notice. They are characterized by a moderate pain of a joint with tingling, discomfort, and a limitation of mobility.

It is important to recognize this painful diagnosis before it develops. The interest of the recognition of this phase by the patient is to allow him to start early the anti-inflammatory treatment of the gouty attack.
1. Often occurs acutely in the middle of the night
Gout often causes sudden, sharp pain in the affected joint, often in the middle of the night. It is not known why it often gets worse in the middle of the night.Many describe the pain of gout as a truly unique form of pain – and that it is completely beyond any other pain they have experienced before. If you think you have early stage gout, we recommend contacting your general practitioner for evaluation, as well as taking blood samples.
2. Joint pressure
When a joint is affected by uric acid crystals, it will usually be clearly tender and painful to the touch. This is because the uric acid crystals cause irritation and fluid accumulation within the joint capsule due to inflammatory reactions.

As this inflammation worsens, even the slightest touch can cause great pain when you touch the joint. Among other things, light touching of your comforter can cause sleep problems because of the increased sensitivity of the joint.

Too many people struggle with chronic pain that destroys daily life – that’s why we encourage you to Share this article on social media, Feel free to like our Facebook page and say, “Yes to more research on chronic pain diagnoses.” In this way, we can make the symptoms associated with this diagnosis more visible and ensure that more people are taken seriously – and thus get the help they need. We also hope that such increased attention can lead to more funding for research into new assessment and treatment methods.
3. Hot Joints
In inflammation, joints often become hot to the touch. You may have experienced this in the joints? This is a sign of ongoing and active inflammatory reactions within the joint. The heat often increases with inflammation – which also means that the joint temperature will drop when the inflammation subsides.

Relevant measures to reduce this arthritis can be frostbite and anti-inflammatory medications.
4. Impaired joint movement
An inflamed joint does not have the same mobility as a joint without inflammation. This is because inflammatory reactions cause an increase in the accumulation of fluid around the uric acid crystals inside the affected joints. The fluid takes up space inside the joint, preventing the joint from moving in the same way as before.

Uric acid crystals can cause severe pain, even with the slightest movement, as the diagnosis worsens. Therefore, it is very important to limit the inflammation in the joint itself.
5. Redness of the skin
When a joint is inflamed, the color of the skin gradually becomes more and more reddish. This reddish color is caused by the inflammatory reactions that occur when blood vessels dilate. But this only happens in the later stages of the inflammation, because the inflammation must be great enough for the blood vessels to dilate.

The color of the skin may change as the inflammation worsens. The redness of the skin often starts out as a light red color, but may gradually develop and darken as the gout worsens – and in the later stages, the color may be almost dark red or reddish-purple.

If you have questions about treatment methods and assessment of chronic pain, we recommend you join your local rheumatism association, join an internet support group (we recommend the facebook group “Rheumatism and Chronic Pain – Norway: News, Unit and Research”) And be open with those around you that you sometimes encounter difficulties and that it may temporarily exceed your personality.
6. Swollen joints
Gout is perhaps best known for affecting the big toe. Due to the severe inflammatory reactions affecting a joint that has been affected by gout, the joint will swell and become considerably larger than usual. Such swelling of the toe or finger can make wearing or walking almost impossible.

As the fluid enters the joint, it presses outward against the soft tissue and skin. As the accumulation of fluid becomes greater and greater, the swelling will increase and also spread outward.
7. Fatigue
Do you feel more tired than usual? Inflammation in the joints – or in the body in general – forces the immune system to work harder, resulting in less energy and a surplus.

Particularly prolonged inflammation can drain energy reserves, even for the most active person. Such inflammation, as in the early stages of gout, can linger in the background and gradually erode even the strongest immune system. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms of inflamed joints and gout.

What are the top 10 things that cause gout?

For being rich in purines, these foods can trigger a crisis, so it is best to avoid them. You can learn which foods affect you the most. Reactions to different foods can vary from person to person. Remember that diet is only one part of gout treatment. It is also important to take medicines or home remedies to treat gout.

Here are the foods richest in purines:

  1. Red meat
  2. Fish
  3. Seafood
  4. Alcohol
  5. Caffeine
  6. Guts
  7. Fried food
  8. Rich salsas
  9. Soft Drinks
  10. Fruit juices

What is the trigger of gout?

Gout results from an abnormal and chronic increase in the level of uric acid in the blood, which is explained by a high dietary intake of purines and above all by a failure of the kidneys to eliminate uric acid.

Here are the mainrisk factors for the development of gout:

  • Beer (including alcohol-free) and spirits
  • Foods and drinks made with high fructose corn syrup
  • Certain foods (anchovies, asparagus, consommé, herring, meat sauces and broths, mushrooms, mussels, all organ meats, sardines, sweetbreads, red meat, chicken and fish are particularly conducive to high uric acid)
  • Low intake of dairy products
  • Certain cancers and blood diseases (such as lymphoma, leukaemia and haemolytic anaemia)
  • Certain drugs (such as thiazide diuretics, cyclosporine, pyrazinamide, ethambutol and nicotinic acid)
  • Lead poisoning
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Certain rare enzyme abnormalities
  • Fasting

What does the body lack in gout?

Gout is most commonly caused by a decreased excretion rate of uric acid. Your kidneys normally remove uric acid from your body. If this happens inefficiently, your uric acids level will increase. You may be genetically predisposed to uric acid buildup, or have kidney problems that affect your ability to eliminate it.

So, the level of uric acid in the blood is abnormally high when the kidneys are not able to eliminate enough of it in the urine. The cause is usually determined by the person's genes.

Things that can impair the ability of the kidneys to remove uric acid also include:

  • Certain types of kidney disease
  • Certain medications
  • Lead poisoning

Too much consumption of purine-rich foods will increase the level of uric acid in the blood. So a good diet is probably what your body lack when you have gout.

Can gout be triggered by stress?

Stress has existed since the beginning of mankind. As long as there is uncertainty, there will unfortunately be stress and this will have consequences. Not so much for people who are relatively healthy but for those who already have an illness or condition. Stress can be caused by divorce, employment, impaired finances, self-image, depression, accident, disability, social life problems, etc.

Unfortunately, stress is not an exception for gout sufferers, as there seems to be a correlation between stress and gout attacks. This correlation seems to be more frequent when the stress is of long duration, which means that it is not a one-day stress episode, but a longer stress that can harm the gout sufferer by increasing their uric acid levels.

Why? Because high levels of anxiety and stress are linked to higher uric acid levels. When you are stressed, your body depletes vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, which helps remove excess uric acid from your body. This acid is vital. When levels of pantothenic are low, uric is high and it can lead to gout.

Also, when your body is under stress it releases the hormone cortisol which your body needs to regulate energy levels, salt/water balance, protein metabolism, but too much of it can have harmful side effects such as muscle breakdown, high blood pressure, increased fat storage and most importantly it can reduce your system’s ability to cope with health situations such as gout. You need to realise that once you are under stress, your body is not functioning at 100%.

So… Yes! Gout is often triggered by emotional stress. Since stress can trigger gout attacks, so it’s important to reduce stress levels. While it is difficult to avoid stress from work, relationships or other factors, long-term stress can trigger gout. Being aware of your sources of stress and avoiding them as much as possible can therefore help prevent attacks.

If stress can not be avoid, people with gout really need to learn how to manage their stress. Try relaxation and mindfulness exercises such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.

Which fruit should not be eaten with gout?

A specific gout diet is very important, but fruits are not part of the foods that cause gout. Eating fruit rich in purine would have no impact on gout. It is essentially animal products rich in purines (meat, seafood) that promote gout.

So, you can eat ALL kind of fruits! Most are low in purines, but like already said, even the ones that are higher have not been shown to affect gout symptoms. And the benefits are worthwhile. There are no fruits to avoid if you have gout.

One of the best fruits to reduce uric acid levels are strawberries, because thanks to their multiple properties they have the ability to neutralize this chemical compound in the body. For this reason, it will be very beneficial to consume these fruits directly or through the preparation of a juice or smoothie. Strawberries have a great contribution of vitamin C and many other nutrients essential for the proper functioning of our body, so that not only are an excellent fruit for uric acid, but has many other benefits such as, for example, improve the health of the skin.

Although unknown to many, blueberries are also one of the best fruits for lowering uric acid levels. This fruit of the forest also has a high content of vitamin C and anthocyanins, as well as a long list of properties.

Apples are another excellent fruit to eliminate uric acid, as well as apple water. The apple, besides helping to neutralize purines, is also beneficial for the elimination of liquids and toxins from the body, so it will also favor the expulsion of uric acid through urine.

The fact that it contains anthocyanin flavonoids makes the cherry an ideal fruit for people suffering from hyperuricemia or high levels of uric acid. This fruit also has anti-inflammatory properties that will lessen the pain of gout attacks. Cherries also facilitate the elimination of toxins and prevent fluid retention in our body.

There are many experts who advocate that vitamin C is a magnificent ally to fight uric acid. Therefore, there are a large number of citrus fruits that can help you reduce uric acid levels significantly, they all have a high alkalizing power. Some of these fruits are: Oranges, Tangerines, Grapefruits, Limes, Lemons,… These fruits also have diuretic properties that once again can help you purify your body of toxins and harmful chemicals such as uric acid.

Eat fruits if you have gout!

What makes gout worse?

Gout results from an abnormal and chronic increase in the level of uric acid in the blood, which is explained by a high dietary intake of purines and, above all, by a failure of the kidneys to eliminate uric acid.

When the concentration of uric acid increases in the blood, uric acid crystals (sodium urate) form and are deposited in and around the joints.

These uric acid deposits in the joints do not always cause symptoms of gout. But in some cases, they do lead to an inflammatory reaction resulting in a gout attack.

There are many risk factors for gout. They may be genetic, age-related, related to dietary and/or sedentary behaviour, or even related to another disease or the use of certain medications.

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Obesity and overeating
  • Age and gender of the person
  • Too much consumption of purine-rich foods
  • Various conditions, especially in women after the menopause: kidney failure, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, psoriasis, alcoholism, etc.
  • Medications (e.g. some diuretics)
  • Blood cancer or psoriasis (accelerated cell turnover).

For sure, a diet high in purines and the consumption of alcohol and drinks containing high fructose corn syrup will make the situation worse. Indeed, all these drinks can increase the production of uric acid while interfering with its elimination by the kidneys.

Can gout be cured?

Yes, gout is a curable disease. Gout should be cured if treated properly. In fact, it is the only rheumatological disease that can be cured. The key to success is to accept long-term treatment, without becoming discouraged.

This long-term treatment combines a drug treatment that lowers the blood level of uric acid called a hypouricemic drug, and simple measures to reduce risk factors and dietary errors.

It is necessary to reach an adequate level of uric acid in the blood to gradually dissolve the crystals, make the symptoms disappear and prevent irreparable damage to the joints in the long term.

Prevention and treatment of pain is good for patients, but does not address the disorder that causes gout.

To cure gout definitively we will need to dissolve these crystalline accumulations with the appropriate medication, and this is not achieved in days or weeks, but thanks to a treatment well carried out for months and years, depending on each patient. The deposit of uric acid crystals will only be resolved with constant medication, supervised by a physician, and with healthy lifestyle habits.

Hypouricemic treatment is a drug treatment that normalizes uricemia by lowering the amount of uric acid. It favors the dissolution and prevention of the formation of microcrystals in joints or kidneys. This treatment should be continued for as long as possible, and it should be combined with dietary corrections. You should start it when you have gout attacks that recur, if there is gouty arthritis or tophus or if there is renal colic.

To reduce uric acid in the blood, one can either decrease its production or increase its elimination. There are drugs that can block the production of urine acid and drugs that promote elimination of uric acids by the kidneys.

This Hypouricemic therapy aims to lower blood uricemia levels by achieving a level below 60 mg/l (360 Umol/l), and even below 50 mg/l for drops with tophus (300 Umol/l). This number is used as a guideline for increasing daily drug doses. It also represents a target value.

The rapid drop in uric acid can paradoxically cause gout attacks at the beginning of background treatment. This is because it causes the release of microcrystals out of the joint tophus. These attacks are normal and common. These attacks are normal and a sign that the treatment is working. These should not be used to stop the hypouricemic medication, as they could lead to relapse. These temporary inconveniences should be accepted. Treatment to prevent attacks can reduce or eliminate them.

Therefore, it is recommended that you prescribe an anti-crisis treatment, and particularly colchicine, within the first six months of hypouricemic therapy. Sometimes, this may be extended beyond the 6 month period, depending on the advice of your attending physician or rheumatologist.

Sources

Chronic Diseases: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Effects, and Treatments [2 volumes]

Chronic Diseases: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Effects, and Treatments [2 volumes]

ABC-CLIO. 2016

This comprehensive two-volume work provides an overview of an area of growing concern, offering readers a one-stop resource for researching the chronic conditions that increasingly plague our society. • Presents comprehensive, up-to-date information in an easily accessible style • Examines the many facets of researching, diagnosing, and controlling chronic diseases • Covers preventive measures such as selecting a nutrition plan, physical activity, vaccinations, and screenings • Explores...

Gout: Recent Studies

Gout: Recent Studies

Ardent Media. 1974

Natural Remedies for Gout - Live Life without Pain

Natural Remedies for Gout - Live Life without Pain

Lulu Press, Inc. 2020

Gout can be considered to be a form of rheumatic disease. It is also the most painful types of rheumatic disease. Gout is the result of excessive uric acid forming crystals in the joints. These crystals deposit will usually lead to inflammatory arthritis which will cause heat, pain, redness, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Gout accounts for about 5% of all cases of arthritis. Gout may sometimes be confused with pseudogout, which has similar observable symptoms. However, for cases of...

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1 Comment

  • Alissa
    Posted 31. listopad 2022 at 12:41

    I really enjoyed reading this article about the causes of Gout, thanks to this I can better understand what caused the gout in my feet and I can follow the advice of what foods to avoid for example and thus step by step eliminate the elevated uric acid, with the hope that the Gout will disappear.

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