What's the Main Cause of Gout?
Your Ultimate Gout Guide
Gout is an affliction that has been well-documented for millennia, with everyone from Queen Anne to Charles V. Today, more than 8 million Americans suffer from occasional bouts of gout, often with debilitating results. Gout is a common yet severe form of arthritis that can affect virtually anyone at any time, causing extreme inflammation and pain.
Although there are often very few outward symtoms, gout flareups have been characterized as one of the most painful conditions known to man, which can often render sufferers completely immobile. There is no known cure for gout, nor is there an established course of treatment.
However, what is known is the causes of gout and its flareups. In addition, we also have a much greater understanding of how the symptoms of gout can be relieved. For everything you must know about gout, read this ultimate gout guide.
1. What Causes the Symptoms of Gout?
To begin gout, the ultimate guide, it is worth explaining the actual biological processes behind gout symptoms. As explained in this essential guide to the symptoms of gout, the inflammation in the extremities is caused by a buildup of uric acid levels in the blood. When uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints, this can cause inflammation which results in a gout attack.
Uric acid is meant to be excreted through the kidney and harmlessly passed out as urine. However, when the kidneys do not excrete enough uric acid or your body begins to produce too much of it, buildups occur that cause gout.
2. Dietary Causes of Gout
Any research into the causes of gout will lead you towards a gout diet guide. Gout has been strongly associated with the diet for centuries and there is a wealth of evidence to support this. However, before you begin constructing your diet for gout treatment, it is worth noting that many other factors are at play and that food intake is only one small contributor.
On the whole, meats such as pork, beef, and certain types of fish are associated with an increased risk of gout. Beverages sweetened with sugar and all forms of alcohol can also increase the risk of developing gout, as these are known to increase uric acid levels in the blood.
3. Genetic Causes of Gout
Unfortunately, one of the main causes of gout is genetic. It is thought that anyone with a parent who suffers from gout is significantly more likely to develop the condition themselves.
There are many genetic factors that can result in the buildup of excess uric acid and even the severity of gout attacks. If you believe you are at a high genetic risk of developing gout, you should speak to your doctor about any lifestyle adjustments you can make.
4. Age-Related Causes of Gout
It should come as no surprise that age is closely tied to the prevalence of gout. Most gout suffers are over the age of 50, with people of 60 being the most likely age group to develop gout. There are also other age-related factors at play.
Men typically develop gout much earlier than women, between the ages of 30 and 50, while women tend to develop gout later in life, often after menopause. That being said, there are plenty of cases of people in their twenties and even teenagers suffering from severe gout.
5. Medications That Increase Gout Risks
Unfortunately, there is a wide range of common prescription drugs and medications that are known to boost uric acid levels and increase the likelihood that the user will develop gout.
Many drugs that are commonly used to treat heart disease and hypertension, such as thiazide diuretics, are well-known to increase gout prevalence. In addition, drugs such as ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and standard chemotherapy drugs all increase uric acid levels and are thought to cause gout.
6. Medical Conditions and Gout
As well as many medications causing gout, those who develop certain medical conditions suffer from an increased prevalence of gout. Any condition that impairs the function of your kidney will lead to a higher chance of developing gout.
In addition, diabetes and heart disease also increase the likelihood of getting gout, as does metabolic syndrome. Coronary heart disease and obesity are also closely linked to gout, both of which are conditions that can be avoided with the help of a balanced diet.
7. Obesity and Gout
As mentioned, obesity is a major cause of gout. Fat cells tend to produce more uric acid, meaning that the greater the number of fat cells in your body, the higher the chance of a painful uric acid buildup.
In addition, obese people tend to have reduced kidney function, meaning that their body is less able to filter out the uric acid that causes gout. Excess weight also tends to raise the levels of insulin in the blood, which in turn raises uric acid levels.
8. Gender and Gout
Gout is closely tied to gender, with men being significantly more likely to develop the condition than women. Of the 8 million gout sufferers in the US today, it is estimated that more than 6 million of these are men.
This is largely because male bodies produce more uric acid, which explains why women are more likely to develop gout after going through menopause. However, it is also tied closely to lifestyle, with men being more likely to have the kind of diet and lifestyle that is associated with gout prevalence.
9. Recent Surgery and Gout
Finally, it is important to note that certain types of surgeries can lead to the patient developing gout further down the line. Any kind of organ transplant will increase the risk of gout since the medications used to prevent organ rejection increase uric acid levels.
Gastric bypass and coronary surgeries have also been found to increase the risk of gout. In addition, the trauma that your body may experience as a result of major surgery may also increase the likelihood that you will experience gout.
Did This Ultimate Gout Guide Help You?
If this ultimate gout guide helped you, it is time to take steps towards prevention. If you have suffered from gout in the past, there are things you can do to reduce future flare-ups. Many of these involve making healthier lifestyle and diet changes. To find out more about the positive changes you can make to prevent gout, read through our expert Health and Wellbeing guides today.