5 lifestyle factors that elevate the risk of gout

Gout is a condition that has affected around 8.3 million Americans and continues to do so till date. It is a form of arthritis, and like every other form of arthritis affects the joints, causing excruciating pain in the process. Gout affects the joints especially in the big toe and causes pain, swelling, and stiffness. An individual with gout can experience sudden gout attacks at any time of the day, and the pain can take days to subside. One can say that with every gout attack you have, the tissues in the region deteriorate owing to the inflammation it is exposed to.

Gout is caused due to an increase in the level of uric acid in the body. The uric acid crystals deposit in the joints, and the process of inflammation sets in causing redness, pain, and stiffness of the joints in the process. One’s age, gender, family history, the medications they consume, and other health problems can also trigger gout. However, apart from these, there are other factors that can trigger gout, and these are mostly self-inflicted.

  • Crash diets and fasting
    One of the prominent causes of gout is going on crash diets or fasting for long periods. When you go on crash diets to lose weight, you begin to metabolize the body tissues, and this results in an increase in the level of purines, which, in turn, increases the level of uric acid in the body. This adds to other vital reasons to avoid going on crash diets and fasting.
  • Dehydration
    Drinking enough water is quite essential for our health; if you do not drink enough water, you become dehydrated, and this is detrimental to your health on different levels. Dehydration leads to an increase in the blood uric acid concentration and ultimately leads to a gout attack.
  • Extra weight
    We are well aware of the repercussions of being overweight. Another health issue that accompanies obesity is gout. Research indicates that people who are overweight are more prone to develop gout since obesity stimulates the body into producing more uric acid, and blocks uric acid excretion as well.
  • Food habits
    Erroneous eating habits can put us in harm’s way, and this holds true even in case of gout. Bad eating habits can cause gout. Foods such as red meat, liver, sweetbreads, certain seafood, are to be avoided since these have high purine levels and lead to an increased production of uric acid, which, in turn, causes gout.
  • Alcohol
    Alcohol is known to worsen a plethora of health conditions, and that includes gout as well. Alcohol consumption interferes with the kidney function; the kidneys cannot filter uric acid to its optimum level, and this results in the build-up of uric acid.