A gout is a form of arthritis that is triggered by high levels of uric acid present in the body. This condition can result in pain in your joints, especially in the big toe. Uric acid is a compound that is commonly found in your body, however, when an excess amount of this compound is present, it can result in different problems. This will cause sharp crystals of uric acid to get accumulated in your joints thereby leading to gout flare-ups. Some of the common gout symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, stiffness, and warmth.
Different medications will be prescribed by doctors for gout relief. In addition to this, you will have to make changes in your lifestyle and diet for effectively controlling gout symptoms. There are certain factors that can result in gout flare-ups. Therefore, you need to avoid them for preventing this condition from getting worse. Hence, we are listing such factors for your knowledge. This will help you to reduce the risk of gout flare-ups.
Foods That Can Trigger Gout
Some foods might trigger gout symptoms, and purine-rich foods are among them. Your body will break down purines into uric acid. Therefore, it is better for people who are suffering from gout to avoid foods that are rich in purines. However, it does not mean that you have to avoid all foods that have purines. The main foods to avoid are organ and glandular meats. In addition to this, some seafood like cod, mussels, sardines, shellfish, scallops, salmon, trout, haddock, anchovies, etc. might also act as gout triggers.
Other purine-rich foods that you should avoid include pork, bacon, mutton, turkey, veal, duck, and venison. Some vegetables also have a high amount of purines. But studies suggest that they do not trigger gout symptoms. Hence, they are not restricted, so you can use them without worrying about gout flare-ups. Such vegetables include asparagus, green peas, cauliflowers, lima beans, mushrooms, spinach, lentils, etc.
All types of alcohol can trigger gout flare-ups. When you drink alcohol, your kidneys will have to work for getting rid of the alcohol, hence, they won’t be able to process the uric acid. Therefore, it can result in an excess amount of uric acid in your body, thereby worsening your gout symptoms. Hence, you have to avoid different types of alcoholic beverages including beer, cider, wine, and liquor for keeping the gout symptoms at bay.
Another category of gout triggers includes sugary beverages. They are especially dangerous to adults who are obese and overweight. Such beverages will increase the level of sugars called fructose in your body. This can increase the amount of uric acid thereby making your gout worse. Therefore, if you have gout, you should avoid sugary beverages like soda, fruit juice, sweetened lemonade, energy drinks, sugary-flavored drinks, sweetened ice tea, etc.
Some medications can also trigger gout symptoms. One category of such medications includes analgesics. Even small amounts of such medications can have a great impact on gout symptoms.
Diuretics or water pills that are used for the treatment of edema and high blood pressure can also make your gout symptoms worse. These medications will get rid of the excess water and salt present in your body. However, they can also increase the levels of uric acid thereby triggering gout. Some of the common diuretics include chlorothiazide, indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, metolazone, and chlorthalidone.
Some other medications that are responsible for triggering gout symptoms include ACE inhibitors, cyclosporine, beta-blockers, chemotherapy drugs, and angiotensin II receptor blockers.
Other Causes Of Gout Flare-Ups
Apart from the factors mentioned above, some other things can increase the risk of gout flare-ups. Some of such factors include:
When you are dehydrated, there won’t be enough water in your body, so your kidneys will not be able to eliminate uric acids efficiently as they normally do. This can increase gout symptoms. Hence, people with gout should drink enough water for helping the kidneys to flush out uric acid.
Even very low amounts of arsenic entering the body can cause gout in women. This chemical can be found in some pesticides and fertilizers. It is also present naturally in soil, water, and also in some shellfish.
Injury And Inflammation
These factors can also trigger gout attacks. When inflammation is present in your body, especially in the big toe, it can attract uric acid crystals to this joint.
People who are obese and overweight have an increased risk of gout attacks. Their body will have more uric acid thereby triggering gout symptoms.
Other factors that can contribute to the increased risk of gout flare-ups include:
- Sudden illness
- Extreme weather changes
Several factors can increase the risk of gout. Therefore, people with this condition will have to be aware of them for effectively preventing their gout symptoms from getting worse. This will help you to curb the development of this condition.