What are the Causes of Gout?

Q:
What are the causes of gout?

A:
Gout develops when uric acid builds up in your joints.

Uric acid forms when your body breaks down purines. Purines are found in some medicines and foods. These foods include steak, organ meats and seafood. Other foods also promote higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose).

Your body gets rid of most uric acid through your urine. But sometimes either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.

You are more likely to get gout if you

  • Are a man
  • Have family member with gout
  • Are overweight
  • Drink alcohol
  • Eat too many foods rich in purines

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.