Gout Triggers and 4 Ways to Avoid Gout Attacks

Gout Triggers and 4 Ways to Avoid Gout Attacks

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes a sudden burning pain, stiffness, or swelling in a joint, most commonly a big toe. If left untreated, these sudden gout attacks can occur repeatedly, leading to damage of joints, tendons and other tissues.

Gout is most common in men and occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood lead to uric acid crystallization in the joints. There are many cases of in which people with high levels of uric acid in their blood never develop gout; it is the crystallization of the uric acid in the joints that causes the pain, stiffness and swelling.

The chances of developing gout increase with being overweight, consuming too much alcohol, or eating too much meat and fish that are high in purines.

The most common indicator of gout is a sudden onset of symptoms that wake you from your sleep in the form of swelling, redness, tenderness, and pain in your big toe. Gout attacks can also be experienced in the foot, ankle, knees or other joints, and can last for a few days or even weeks. Once the pain subsides, additional attacks may not occur for months or years.

It is important to consult with a doctor even if you do not have any more pain. High levels of uric acid in the blood that do not result in gout can still damage your joints.

A proper diagnosis will require a physical exam. Your doctor may ask questions about your symptoms, take fluid samples from your joints to check for uric acid crystals, and test your blood to measure your uric acid levels.

If you are having a gout attack, your doctor may inject you with corticosteroids or prescribe some drugs for you to take daily. If treatment is commenced early, most people experience relief from gout attack within 24 hours.

Your Gout Triggers

There are many things that can trigger a gout attack. Knowing what triggers uric acid buildup in your body can help you to prevent gout attacks. Every case is different because each person’s condition varies, and symptoms for individuals can be entirely different. One of the most important parts about goat is keeping a record of what triggers a flareup in order to maintain your condition in the future. 

Some Common Triggers

Here are some common gout attack triggers. You should keep them in mind as you try to figure out what might be triggering your attacks.

Foods – The uric acid level in your blood can be raised if you eat foods that are high in purines. Purines are found in all foods that have protein. Organ meat, seafood, and even some vegetables such as spinach are all high in purines.

Dehydration – If you are dehydrated, the concentration of uric acid in your blood increases due to there being less water, and the kidneys are less able to process uric acid out of the bloodstream. This can result in a gout attack.

Alcohol – While wine does not seem to be linked to gout attacked, beer and liquor can raise uric acid levels resulting in a gout attack. Alcohol is also a diuretic and can also make you dehydrated, which can also result in a gout attack.

Medication — Some drugs that are used for other medical conditions can cause an attack. This includes some high blood pressure medications, diuretics, beta-blockers, cyclosporine, and even low-dose aspirin.

Fructose beverages – Beverages containing fructose sweeteners are another common gout trigger.

Physical stress – Physical stress including health related stresses like hospital visits, surgery, sicknesses, and medical procedures can increase uric acid levels and lead to gout attacks.

Four Ways to Avoid Gout Attacks

Once you experience the pain of a gout attack, you will definitely want to avoid them in the future. Keeping track of your particular gout triggers can go a long way in helping you avoid attacks. But you should remember that it is not just the pain you want to prevent. Damage to the joints from gout cannot be reversed. Once the damage is done there is no easy way to fix the damage.

Avoid gout triggers

While it may be impossible to avoid all purines in the foods you eat, knowing the foods that trigger your gout attacks will allow you to avoid them and still enjoy other foods with fewer purines that do not trigger your attacks.


If you have as many as two or three gout attacks in a year, you should talk to your doctor about daily medication to lower the uric acid in your blood, and medication to prevent future attacks.

Lose Weight

Since being overweight can increase your chances of an attack, you should consult with your doctor to develop a weight loss plan if you are overweight.

Healthy lifestyle

Regular exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet, low or no alcohol consumption, and drinking plenty of water so as not to be dehydrated, can keep your uric acid level stable and greatly reduce the risk of future gout attacks.

Dr. Alavy and our entire staff are here in Los Angeles and Glendale, CA, to provide you with the best professional care and outstanding service. Contact us for a professional consultation from our top rated gout specialist!

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