Gout is a common form of arthritis. Elevated levels of uric acid lead to a condition called hyperuricemia. When the excess amount of uric acid accumulates in the joints it leads to painful selling, redness and inflammation of the joints. This condition is called as gout.
Gout commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s. It is more common in men than in women.
Causes of Gout
Hereditary factors play a major role in the elevated levels of uric acid
Gout usually runs in families. People affected by gout are genetically predisposed to have increased levels of uric acid. Often it is found that people suffering from gout have a sibling or a close relative with high levels of uric acid in the body.
Heavy drinking has been linked to a gout attack
Heavy consumption of alcohol is often associated with increased levels of uric acid in the body. A gout attack is often brought on by a night of binge drinking or heavy alcohol intake.
Diuretics lead to increase in uric acid levels
Medicines like diuretics are also linked to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. Diuretics may interfere with function of the kidneys. This affects the elimination if the uric acid from the body. As a result there are elevated levels of uric acid in the blood and this may lead to gout attack.Other medicines like aspirin and niacin may also be linked to gout attacks.
Heavy intake of purine rich foods may lead to the onset of a gout attack
There are certain substances called purines in the body. Purines are DNA building blocks derived from protein. Purines are also found in some foods and drinks, such as liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas, beer, and wine. When the body breaks down these purines it leads to the formation of a uric acid. From the kidneys uric acid is eliminated from the body via urine. If the body produces excess amount of uric acid as a result of heavy consumption of purine rich foods then the kidneys are unable to eliminate all the uric acid from the body. This results in a buildup of the uric acid in the blood stream. Gradually the excess uric acid precipitates in the joints and leads to the attack of gout.
Obesity may be a high risk factor for the development of a gout attack
Obese people are at an increased risk of suffering from a gout attack.
Injury may lead to the onset of a gout attack
Injury to a joint especially the big toe may also be a triggering factor for the development of a gout attack.
Excessive starvation may cause increased levels of uric acid in the body
Sudden starvation may lead to elevated levels of uric acid in the body. A gout attack is often brought on after episodes of sudden starvation or fasting.
Dehydration may lead to the development of gout attack
Dehydration causes fluid imbalance in the body and may lead to a gout attack.