Gout is a painful and potentially debilitating condition caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Although there are medications that can help manage gout, avoiding triggers is also an important part of treatment. Unfortunately, many of the things that can trigger a gout attack are common, everyday activities. To help you avoid flare-ups, we’ve compiled a list of the most common gout triggers — and what you can do to avoid them.

Gout: what is it?

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden and severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the joints. The joint most commonly affected by gout is the big toe. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood and forms crystals in the joints.

Uric acid is a waste product that is produced when the body breaks down purines, which are found in certain foods and beverages. These include organ meats, seafood, beer and high fructose corn syrup. People with gout often have a family history, are overweight, or have other health conditions that increase their risk. Gout can be treated with medications that relieve pain and inflammation and prevent future attacks. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the crystals from the joints.

Risk factors:

Experts are unable to fully determine the reasons why gout affects some people while others do not. Certainly, many of the causes and risk factors for gout are clearly defined.


Experts consider gout to be 4 to 10 times more likely to affect men than women. The risk of developing gout increases in women during menopause (estrogen appears to have protective effects).

Age :

Most people experience a first episode of gout around the age of 30 to 50, while the risk rate continues to increase as age increases. It is estimated that less than 3% of men under the age of 50 and nearly 12% of men between the ages of 70 and 79 have experienced at least one episode of gout.

Family history :

Research suggests that certain genes that influence kidney function and bowel function increase the risk of developing gout. These genes may make the body more likely to store uric acid and generate uric acid crystals that cause gout.


Overweight individuals have a greater risk of developing gout. They are also more likely to develop gout at a younger age.

Diet :

The risk of gout flare is aggravated when consuming alcohol, sugary drinks and foods, meat and seafood, which are high in purine content. Beans, fruits and vegetables do not seem to increase the risk, even if they are high in purines.

Treatment options:

Gout treatments can be very effective. The treatment of gout has two main components, namely:

  • Treatment of acute attack.
  • Treatments aimed at preventing future attacks.

Treating a gout attack:

Treating a gout attack does not lower urate levels or prevent future attacks. The treatment contributes to the management of the symptoms at the time of the attack. Here are the most common treatments for gout attacks:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Steroids.
  • Colchicine.

When a drug alone does not work, your doctor may suggest a treatment combining NSAIDs with colchicine or steroids.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):

If you have been prescribed NSAIDs to relieve an attack, you should start taking them as soon as the signs appear. Your doctor may authorize a stockpile of medications so that you can take them at the slightest sign of an attack.

NSAIDs are not suitable for everyone. Talk to your doctor first if you have any other health problems. These drugs may interact with certain other drugs.


Colchicine is not used to relieve pain. But it can be particularly effective in reducing the inflammation caused by urate crystals.

Like NSAIDs, colchicine tablets should be taken as soon as you notice symptoms or they may not be as helpful. Your doctor will likely ask you to keep a supply at home.

Colchicine is likely to cause an interaction with various other drugs, including statins prescribed for hypercholesterolemia.


Steroids are particularly well suited to acute gout attacks. On the other hand, it is possible to administer them in the form of an injection into a muscle or joint affected by gout. This method can be very effective when the gout only strikes one joint.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.