What Triggers Gout? (The Ultimate Guide)

By | February 19, 2018
what triggers gout

Have you ever looked at your swollen feet and scrutinized yourself to assess where did you go wrong to experience this medical condition? If you still haven’t, this is the right time to do so before it is too late.

Most of the time gout occurs due to your lifestyle routine. People suffering from gout should take a note of potential gout triggering factors and try to avoid them.

Think before eating

The most frequent causes of gout frequently prevail in our daily diet. One reason is a high intake of purine. Food rich in purine can ultimately result in increasing uric acid quantities in your blood. It is admittedly difficult to maintain a distance from specific high purine food; however, it is not impossible.

These food items include organ meats for instance kidney, brain and liver. They are not only rich in purine, but also have large quantities of cholesterol. Similarly sea food, including certain kinds of fish, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, to name a few, also contributes towards increased purine levels.

Suggested article: Fish And Gout (15 Types Of Fish Explained)

Moreover, some vegetables are also rich in purine and can lead to gout. Spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower are some of them. However, purine intake through vegetables is not as hazardous as intake through other sources. Purine from plant sources is excreted relatively easily from the human body, hence causing a smaller amount of damage. Remember, protein rich diets are rich in purine too.

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Frusctose and gout

Another highly consumed gout flaring substance is high fructose containing soda waters. While gulping drinks it is wise to read the labels so that you can avoid having high fructose containing drinks which can wreak havoc on your health and trigger your gout like nothing else. Avoiding high fructose containing elements does not at all mean that you completely stop taking sugar. However, it does mean that you should be careful about the quantities. Not just sodas, but pastries, cookies and biscuits also contain high levels of sugar, which must be avoided in order to reduce risks for a gout attack.

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In addition to the other triggers mentioned here, intake of alcohol must also be minimized to decrease risks for a gout attack.

Suggested article: Gout And Alcohol (Everything You Need To Know)


Carrying weight above your ideal level can be the basis for a variety of health troubles, such as high blood pressure, high level of cholesterol,  and gout, among others. Obesity and gout has a strong association. When people become obese, their risk of coming down with gout also increases. A surplus of body fat slows down the uric acid emission from the kidney, which becomes the reason for hyperuricemia, which eventually turns into gout. Consequently, the more you weigh, the more you are likely to suffer from gout.

If you have a gout attack or swollen joints, it would be wise to decide on losing weight as soon as possible. Weight loss will permit discharge of fatty substance from your body in a consistent manner and diminish the side effects it has on your body.

Suggested article: Understanding The Link Between Obesity And Gout

Fitted footwear pose problems

If you are living with gout, your selection of footwear must be wise and cautious, or else triggered gout will be its outcome. By far, gout attacks are more likely to occur in the toes and ankles. So the question arises ‘Does uncomfortable footwear trigger gout?’ The answer to this question is one simple word. YES!

Tight fitted shoes can cause pinching, corrugation and decrease the flow of blood in the foot. This is a major risk factor for crystallized uric acid and a gout attack.

Tight fitted shoes, thin sole sandals, narrow toe shoes, chisel toe shoes, high heels can create pressure on the big toe of the foot, which is the most frequent site of a gout attack. So, if you are one of those who fulfill some or all of the criteria listed here, and are still wearing your Louis Vuitton, Sophia Webster or Gucci shoes which might intensify the risk of triggering your gout, now is the time to rethink your footwear choice.

Puffing cigarettes

We all are well aware of the perilous chemical element cigarette rolls contain, including nicotine. Well, it will not be far off the mark to claim that with every puff of smoke, you intensify the risk of a gout attack.
Cigarettes slow down the flow of blood by 50%, due to which the quantity of carbon monooxide increases in the body and it merges with normal oxygen, thus decreasing the flow of blood circulation causing formation of crystallized form of acid that builds up in the joints and increasing the threat of gout attack.

Suggested article: Smoking And Gout (Can Smoking Cause Gout?)

Use of certain medicines

Although medicines are specifically designed to cure health trouble, yet some of them can actually contribute to gout attacks. Certain medicines which are meant to treat various medical conditions can result in increasing uric acid quantities in the body, hence resulting in gout pain in joints. So, if your prescribed pills cause you pain in the joints, you are advised to consult your doctor to find out whether it is gout.

Some potential gout triggering medicines include diuretics which are prescribed for cardiovascular diseases. Its side effects include a decline in uric acid removal and excretion through urine.

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Aspirin is a commonly used pain reliever drug that can increase the chance of gout, because it prevents kidneys from removing the suitable quantity of acid.

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Another potential trigger is cyclosporine, which is generally prescribed to people who have undergone organ transplant surgery. Though this drug is good for maintaining a strong immune system, but it can pose a problem by increasing uric acid level in a human body.

Niacin is a form of vitamin which is also found in diet supplements. Its excess dosage too is another risk factor for gout attacks.


If gout prevails in an individual’s family history, he is likely to face an increased risk in suffering from the gout pain. Several researchers and scientists have accepted that genetics play an important role in the gout profile of an individual. The more family members suffering from gout, the higher are the chances of an individual developing this condition. In fact, the contribution of genetics in developing excess uric acid production is as high as 60%.

Medical conditions

Several injuries like twisting an ankle or bumping a toe on some hard surface makes body joints vulnerable. Injured joints result in storage of higher uric acid quantities and levels, which leads to the formation of urate crystals. This can lead to gout attack which lasts for a week.

Other medical conditions like poor functioning of kidneys can also be one of the main causes due to which the body overproduces uric acid. Kidney malfunction results in the reduction of waste removal from a human body, which actually causes a rise in uric acid quantities. This results in increasing the risks of gout attacks.

Other medical conditions which raise the uric acid level in the body are high blood pressure, diabetes, and poorly functioning thyroid glands.

Suggested article: Gout And Diabetes (Are Gout And Diabetes Connected?)

Additionally, medical stress caused by hospital visits, recent surgeries, pneumonia, and other conditions can flare up risks for a gout attack in a human body.

Suggested article: Gout And Stress (Are Gout And Stress Linked Together?)


This includes crash-dieting and skipping meals in order to lose weight. Losing weight by fasting may decrease your weight, but it can also intensify the risk of increased uric acid quantities. When an individual fasts, their body produces ketones as the end product of fat metabolism. When the body burns fat for energy it produces a chemical known as ketone. Furthermore, this ketone competes with uric acid for excretion. Moreover due to the diet, your body starts fluctuation of purine formation, which results in increases in uric acid production.

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