Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Gout (cont.)

Gout Causes

Uric acid is generated as we metabolize the food we eat and as the body's tissues are broken down during normal cell turnover. Some people with gout generate too much uric acid (10% of those affected) and are medically referred to as "over-producers." Other people with gout do not effectively eliminate their uric acid into the urine (90%) and are medically referred to as under-excreters. Genetics (our inherited genes), gender, and nutrition (alcoholism, obesity) play key roles in the development of gout. Gout is not contagious.

  • If your parents have gout, then you have a 20% chance of developing it.
  • British people are five times more likely to develop gout.
  • American blacks, but not African blacks, are more likely to have gout than other populations.
  • Intake of alcoholic beverages, especially beer, increases the risk for gout.
  • Diets rich in red meats, internal organs, yeast, and oily fish increase the risk for gout.
  • Uric acid levels increase at puberty in men and at menopause in women, so men first develop gout at an earlier age (after puberty) than do women (after menopause). Gout in premenopausal women is distinctly unusual.

Attacks of gouty arthritis can be precipitated when there is a sudden change in uric acid levels, which may be caused by

  • overindulgence in alcohol and red meats,
  • trauma,
  • starvation and dehydration,
  • IV contrast dyes,
  • chemotherapy,
  • medications,
    • diuretics and some other anti-hypertensive medications,
    • aspirin (Bayer, Ecotrin),
    • nicotinic acid (B-3-50, B3-500-Gr, Niacin SR, Niacor, Niaspan ER, Slo-Niacin),
    • cyclosporin A,
    • allopurinol (Zyloprim) and probenecid (Benemid),
    • others.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Gout

Alcoholism
Alcoholism Alcohol problems vary in severity from mild to life threatening and affect the individual, the person's family, and society in numerous adverse ways. Despite al...learn more >>
Arthritis
Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Causes include injury, abnormal metabolism (such as gout), inheritance (such as in osteoarthritis), infections (such as...learn more >>
Dehydration (Adults)
Dehydration in Adults Dehydration occurs when the loss of body fluids (mostly water), exceeds the amount that is taken in. Causes of dehydration include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, di...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Gout:

Gout - Diet

How did you change your diet upon your diagnosis of gout?

Gout - Symptoms

For gout, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Gout - Treatment

What was the treatment for your gout?

Gout - Experience

Please describe your experience with gout.




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Gout »

Gout is a common disorder of uric acid metabolism that can lead to deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in soft tissue, recurrent episodes of debilitating joint inflammation, and, if untreated, joint destruction and renal damage.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary