Why do people get gout?
The types of foods you eat may help or harm you if you have gout.
Gout is a type of arthritis causing pain and swelling in the joints. The symptoms usually occur as flares lasting for a week or two and then go away. Gout flares usually start in the big toe or a lower limb.
The disease happens when the body has high levels of a substance called uric acid or urate. When high levels of uric acid build up, the needle-shaped urate crystals form in and around the joints. This causes inflammation and arthritis of the affected joint. Many people with high serum uric acid, however, may not develop gout.
Some factors may increase a person’s risk for gout, including
- Male gender
- Certain health conditions, such as
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome
- Poor kidney function
- Certain medications like diuretics or water pills
- Alcohol consumption
- Foods or drinks rich in fructose (a type of sugar)
- A diet rich in purines including red meat, organ meat, anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops and tuna
Gout is a lifelong disease and cannot be cured. The disease, however, is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. It can be effectively managed with early diagnosis, medications and lifestyle changes.