What are the causes of gout pain?

Gout is a common form of arthritis that can affect any joint, most commonly the big toe. Gout usually occurs in both asymptomatic and symptomatic periods. When symptoms occur, it’s called a flare-up or attack. A gout attack may be accompanied by pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty moving the joint and usually lasts one to two weeks. There are many things that can trigger a gout attack: from food to medications to dehydration.

File Photo
File Photo

Common triggers of gout attacks

This disease is caused by high uric acid in the body. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down purines, chemicals that occur naturally in the body and in certain foods. Uric acid is usually broken down and excreted in the urine. If not properly eliminated, excess uric acid can turn into needle-like crystals in the joints, causing gout attacks.

Some of the triggers for this disease attacks are well known. And these factors can be avoided to a large extent, so a comprehensive understanding of the factors that is necessary for us to prevent or control this disease. 

certain meats and seafood

Many purine-rich foods can increase uric acid levels in the body, increasing the risk of a gout attack. Foods with high purine content include:

  • Red meat, such as beef, lamb, and pork
  • Organ meats, such as liver and kidneys
  • some seafood, such as anchovies
  • sardine
  • mussels
  • scallop
  • trout
  • tuna

However, not all purine-rich foods increase uric acid levels or gout risk. Vegetables such as peas, beans, lentils, asparagus, spinach, and mushrooms are rich in purines, but eating them in moderation does not seem to have an impact on gout risk.

alcoholic beverages

Drinking beer, wine, and liquor is known to increase uric acid levels in the blood. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of a gout attack.

But one study found that even moderate drinking may increase a man’s risk of a gout attack. In fact, male participants who drank two drinks within a 24-hour period had a 36% higher risk of developing gout than those who drank no alcohol during the same period. On the other hand, having one drink within 24 hours does not significantly increase your risk. Limiting alcohol consumption may help prevent emergencies.

Fructose-rich drinks and foods

Fructose, a type of sugar, is the only sugar that can increase uric acid levels in the body. Beverages rich in fructose, such as juices and sweetened soft drinks, have been shown to increase uric acid levels in the blood.

Consuming foods high in fructose, such as cookies and candies, has also been linked to an increased risk of attacks. Avoiding or limiting these high-sugar drinks and foods may help reduce your risk of gout attacks.

higher body mass index

Being overweight or obese is associated with the initial development of gout. There is a link between a higher body mass index (BMI) and higher uric acid levels. This connection continues to work even if you already this disease.

If you fall into the overweight or obese BMI category, losing weight through diet and exercise may be one way to lower your uric acid levels and prevent future outbreaks.

Surprising Triggers for Gout

While certain foods, drinks, and lifestyle factors are common triggers of gout attacks, other gout triggers should also be considered.


The exact relationship remains to be determined, but research suggests that stress can cause elevated uric acid levels in the blood. To help avoid attacks, researchers recommend gout patients avoid stress or take steps to reduce it


Low-dose aspirin increases uric acid levels in the blood, sometimes nearly doubling the risk of this disease attack. One study found that the risk of a gout attack increased after two days of taking low-dose aspirin. The lower the dose, the greater the correlation.

But low-dose aspirin is often used to prevent cardiovascular disease. Therefore, even though it may trigger a gout attack, if you take low-dose aspirin to protect yourself from a heart attack or stroke, it is not recommended that you stop or change your use. Instead, you can address other issues in your life that may trigger with this disease, such as drinking alcohol and red meat.


Dehydration can cause uric acid levels to rise due to decreased urination.

To reduce the risk of this disease, people with gout should drink plenty of water every day. If you exercise or spend time in a hotter environment, such as a sauna, it is important to drink plenty of water.

temperature change

Weather can have an impact on this disease. Both high temperatures and low humidity increase the risk of this disease attacks. The combination of hot and dry weather can especially trigger gout attacks. Extremely high humidity also increases the risk of gout attacks, but to a lesser extent.

The exact reasons behind these associations are not fully understood, but one theory is that dehydration plays a role. People with this disease should stay hydrated in hot or dry environments to prevent weather-related it. 

10 minute gout cure

Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, can cause excruciating joint pain, often affecting areas like the toes, ankles, and knees. When a gout flare-up strikes, swift relief becomes paramount. Here are some approaches to rapidly alleviate pain and regain your quality of life:

  1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications: These readily available drugs work wonders in reducing inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) are effective for managing acute gout flares. Taking them early during an attack can significantly ease pain.
  2. Prescription Medications: For severe pain, consult a healthcare professional. Untreated inflammation can lead to permanent joint damage. If you’re in dire need of relief, your doctor may prescribe medications such as Colcrys (colchicine) or Indocin (indomethacin), which rapidly address gout flares.
  3. Preventive Measures: While acute this disease treatments focus on pain relief, preventive medications aim to reduce uric acid levels and prevent future flares. Common preventive drugs include Zyloprim (allopurinol)Probalan (probenecid), and Uloric (febuxostat). Remember, these won’t provide immediate relief during an active flare.
  4. Nondrug Approaches: Consider alternative therapies and supplements. Although not scientifically proven for acute flares, some natural supplements may offer relief. Staying hydrated, applying ice, and maintaining a healthy weight can also complement your gout management.

Remember, gout is a chronic condition, and while there’s no outright cure, timely interventions can significantly improve your comfort and overall well-being


Common triggers of gout attacks, such as red meat, alcohol, and high-sugar drinks, should be limited or avoided to help reduce the risk of attacks. Other triggers, such as aspirin, stress, or weather, should also be considered when determining how to prevent and manage attacks.

Not all it sufferers are affected by every trigger. To determine what triggers a gout attack, pay attention to what you ate or participated in before your gout attack. By recording these factors, you may be able to identify patterns in gout attacks.

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