Am I at Risk for Gout?

Friday 18 June 2021
Gout
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents


I. Age & Sex

II. Obesity & Diet Choices

III. Prior Medical Conditions

IV. Medication Use


Gout is a painful chronic condition that can affect your joints. The joint in the big toe is usually affected first, but it may affect other joints as time goes on.

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Uric acid builds up in the bloodstream if you consume too many purines. Purines break down into the body and eventually create uric acid crystals that build up on the joints. Excess uric acid does not always cause gout, but it is important to know if you are at risk. Colchicine and indomethacin may be prescribed once a doctor assesses your symptoms and uric acid is found in the bloodstream. Learn more about the most common risk factors for gout. [1]

Age & Sex

Gout tends to affect men and women at different times of life. In most cases, gout occurs earlier in men than women. Men are three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher uric acid levels throughout their lives. [2]

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Women are more likely to develop gout after menopause. Women are unlikely to develop gout before menopause because estrogen released during the female reproductive cycle increases the removal of uric acid by the kidneys.

Because gout is less likely to happen when estrogen is produced, menopausal women or women who have had hysterectomies are more at risk. There is not much research for gout in younger women, so if you are pre-menopausal and have symptoms of gout, talk to your doctor. [3]

Obesity & Diet Choices

Obese individuals are more likely to have several different health conditions ­– including gout. If you have a higher body mass index (BMI) you are at an increased risk of developing gout. Not only does excess tissue on the body inhibit your mobility and increase blood pressure, but it also increases the production of uric acid. If you are obese, the kidneys cannot filter uric acid as well, increasing the concentration in the bloodstream.

There is also a connection between high uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) and insulin resistance, so if you are obese and have gout, diabetes is also a risk. On top of that, excess weight can cause chronic joint trauma, which is another explanation for increased rates of gout in obese individuals. [4]

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What we put in our bodies has a direct effect on the development of gout. Foods high in purines lead to an increase in uric acid, so you should avoid the following foods:

  • Red meats
  • Shellfish
  • Organ and glandular meats
  • Processed foods (white bread, pre-packaged pastries, and added sugars)
  • Beer [5]

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Prior Medical Conditions

Risk factors of gout tend to stack on top of each other over time. If you are overweight, you are more likely to have serious medical conditions, triggering gout attacks. Several conditions can increase your risk of gout, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Vascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Organ transplantation
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels in the bloodstream)

Excess uric acid is typically filtered out through the kidneys, so uric acid may build up and lead to gout if you have kidney issues. Other vascular diseases like high blood pressure can also affect blood circulation around the body and to the kidneys. If blood vessels are constricted, blood flow is limited to the kidneys, making it even more difficult to filter through the kidneys. [6]

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Medication Use

There are certain medications or medical treatments that may increase your risk of developing gout. As mentioned above, having high blood pressure or other heart problems increases your risk of gout. You may be prescribed diuretics to treat these serious cardiovascular problems, but these medications may also increase your risk of gout.

Diuretics increase the frequency of urination, which reduces the amount of fluid in the body. This means that the remaining fluid in your body is highly concentrated, which increases the risk of gout and the formation of urate crystals. [7]

Some over-the-counter medications like aspirin contain chemicals that increase uric acid production. If you take niacin to treat cholesterol problems or aspirin to protect against heart disease, you may have more uric acid in your bloodstream. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which increases the output of uric acid. One aspirin tab does not mean that a gout flare-up is inevitable, but you may want to watch out for gout symptoms if you take these medications regularly. [8]

If your doctor does determine you are at risk for gout, you can get discount gout medications like Colchicine and indomethacin on Canadian Pharmacy Service. Check out this trustworthy Canadian online pharmacy today.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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