Most diseases are well known in terms of their contagious profiles and spreading capabilities. Some of them make common sense at all. For instance, you end up with a viral infection. The virus is likely to spread, so you might affect the ones around you. The same rule applies to some bacterial infection. But then, other affections depend on nothing but your organism – you keep close to your friends and family and there are no risks for the affections to spread.
Gout is one of those affections that fall in the middle range. Now, is gout contagious? In theory, it is not. But then, is it hereditary? At this point, there is room for some discussions. There are more key points in the development of gout. On the same note, some may find it contagious just because they are close together with gout patients and follow the same type of lifestyle – this is when misconceptions arise. So, what do you need to know?
Is gout contagious?
Being close to someone who has gout will not necessarily mean you can have it too. You can spend time together with someone with gout – live in the same home, share the same food and even hug each other. The gout will not be transmitted because it is not contagious. Most misconceptions arise when people who hang out together develop gout. Where is the catch then?
If you follow a certain lifestyle, one of your friends might be on the same page. You eat anything that could cause gout and you drink a lot. If one of your close friends follows the same type of lifestyle, it is not unusual for both of you to develop gout. Sure, it may not hit at the same time, as there are more factors to consider in the process. But then, lots of people naturally assume that the affection is contagious.
Factors behind the development of gout
Gout could be hereditary though – to a certain point. If your parents have gout, there is a 20% chance of having it yourself too. Men are more likely to get the affection, as well as those with insufficient kidney functionality. Having lots of alcohol may cause similar effects, as well as diets rich in organs and red meats.
When it comes to race and origins, British people are extremely exposed to gout – about 500% more likely than others. On the same note, American blacks – not the African blacks – are likely to develop gout as well.
Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid, so the development affects different genders in different ways. For instance, men tend to see an increase in uric acid levels as soon as they get over puberty. Women, on the other hand, see a noticeable increase after menopause.
Things that can trigger gout
Gout attacks can be triggered in various ways and they can usually gain in intensity when uric acid levels experience a sudden growth.
Exaggerating with alcohol – especially beer – and red meats can increase the painful sensations, but traumas are just as dangerous. Starvation is another common issue, not to mention the constant dehydration. Chemotherapy is very likely to increase the intensity of painful sensations too, not to mention a plethora of medications. Diuretics, aspirin and nicotinic acid are just some of the most common factors behind the gout related pains.
Last, but not least, IV contrast dyes are known to boost the gout sensations as well.
As a short final conclusion, gout can hit randomly, but there are certain factors that can increase the risks associated with it. It can hit you if your parents have had it, but it can also occur out of nowhere and it is not unusual for people who share the same unhealthy lifestyle to develop it.
Is gout contagious? While it may sometimes appear to be contagious, the truth is gout is not contagious and it will never spread from one individual to another. Should it affect two people in the same household, there are more factors behind it – such as genes or an unhealthy lifestyle, but it will never spread like viral or bacterial infections.
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