Senior Holding Foot in Pain

Know The Risks: Risk Factors Of Gout Attacks

Know The Risks: Risk Factors Of Gout Attacks

Senior Holding Foot in Pain

Do you suffer from gout? Does it feel like flare-ups can appear suddenly or out of nowhere? 

We understand that this can be frustrating, so we want to explain some risk factors associated with gout and high uric acid levels.

What Is Gout?

Gout symptoms typically appear at night and can include intense joint pain, a limited range of motion, redness and tenderness, as well as persisting discomfort. 

Gout flare ups are usually more painful within the first twelve hours and commonly affect the big toe. However, they can impact other parts of the body as well. This includes your fingers, wrists, ankles, knees and elbows.

Gout attacks are caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, which lead to urate crystals that accumulate within your joints.

Uric acid is produced by the body as a result of breaking down purines. Purines are found naturally within the body, but also in certain foods. Typically, your body is able to break down uric acid through the kidneys, however sometimes it’s not able to. This causes the urate crystals to form around joints.

Runner with Foot Pain

Another less well-known, but perhaps more important and common, source of uric acid overload is from fructose consumption.  The metabolism of fructose leads directly to uric acid.  There are a complex series of fast reactions that happen with fructose metabolism that result in increased purine degradation.  This then leads to the increased uric acid levels. 

Risk Factors For Gout

It’s important to know what causes this build up of uric acid in order to avoid gout attacks. Risk factors include:

  • Your age and sex play a role in your risk for developing gout. Women typically tend to have lower levels of uric acid until later in life. Men on the other hand, are more susceptible to developing gout earlier in life. If a woman develops gout, it’s more common after menopause. 
  • Obesity can also lead to gout, because it’s more difficult for your body to eliminate the higher levels of uric acid associated with excess weight.   Likewise, obesity is associated with higher intake levels of fructose. 
Healthy Diet
  • In the same vein, your diet also plays a key factor in mitigating gout attacks. You’ll want to avoid foods that contain a lot of purines like red meats, certain seafoods, alcohol and sugary foods. Fructose should be avoided as well. Dr. Warner recommends the Mediterranean Diet to most of her patients for its anti-inflammatory benefits, which can be helpful in the case of gout as well. It steers clear of processed foods, and instead focuses on whole foods and meals enjoyed socially.  Limiting the animal protein levels even in this diet may be required.
  • If you have untreated medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease, you’re also at greater risk for gout. You’ll want to establish a treatment plan with your primary physician and make positive changes toward healing in order to reduce gout flare-ups. 
  • When working with your physician to treat these conditions. You’ll want to avoid certain medications as well. This includes low-dose aspirin, anti-rejection drugs for organ transplant, and some medications to control hypertension.  Please check with your physician.  
  • Surgery or trauma can also trigger gout attacks in some cases. 
Tart Cherry Extract Supplement for Connective Tissue & Anti-Inflammatory: Jar

Tart Cherry Extract can help you reduce the painful symptoms associated with gout. The anthocyanin antioxidants in tart cherries can help balance uric acid levels. Tart Cherries are also able to reduce inflammation in a similar way to NSAIDs in a more gentle manner. 

Dr. Meredith Warner Baton Rouge Orthopedic Surgeon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation