Gout is a condition that causes inflamed, painful joints. The symptoms are caused by deposits of urate crystals at the joints. Gout used to be associated kings who overindulged in rich foods and wine. In truth, anyone can get gout. Gout affects more men than women. It is often linked with obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and diabetes.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by monosodium urate crystal deposits in the joints. This is due to an excess of uric acid in the body. The excess of uric acid may be caused by several things. It may be caused by the body making too much uric acid. Or, the kidneys may not get rid of enough uric acid. And it may be caused by eating a lot of foods that are high in purines. Purines turn into uric acid in the body. Foods high in purines include certain meats, such as game meats, kidney, brains, and liver. It includes some seafood, such as anchovies, herring, scallops, sardines, and mackerel. And it includes dried beans and dried peas. Alcoholic drinks and sugary drinks high in fructose may also increase levels of uric acid in the body. Gout attacks may be triggered by any of the following:
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating a lot of protein-rich foods
- Emotional stress
- Minor surgery