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Four Common Gout Triggers

June 23, 2011 by Frankie.

For long-term sufferers of gout - a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in the joints - being aware of what can trigger a gouty attack is key. After all, the pain that comes from the uric acid crystals forming - which cause the joint to swell up and become inflamed - can range from throbbing to excruciating. If you've ever had more than one gout attack chances are you know what triggered it.

Gout triggers are the immediate conditions that cause gout flare ups, but like a lot of medical conditions that aren't cut and dry, every gout flare up isn't necessarily caused by them. And you may have your own unique triggers, including particular foods that bring on attacks for you but not others. Finding out what your triggers are is a significant and incredibly useful job - most long-term gout sufferers get to learn them over time. The four most common triggers of gouty arthritis attacks are listed below.

Obesity - We all know being overweight has many health hazards. It can raise your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure - and yes, gout. The larger your body, the more uric acid it has to excrete. More uric acid equals a surefire gout trigger.

Weather - Unfortunately both ends of the weather spectrum can be trouble for the gout sufferer. In very cold weather, its best to wear warm clothes including gloves, as fingers are where gout attacks may last longest and be the most difficult to control. On your feet thick wool socks are best as gout is most likely to start in one of the big toes. Both the feet and the fingers are the coldest parts of the body as they're the furthest from the heart. Really, it's best to avoid being outside during cold weather as much as possible.

Conversely, very hot and humid weather can also trigger gout flare-ups, most likely because it causes dehydration. Ensure you drink plenty of water in very hot weather, or if you live in a hot and humid climate.

Excessive Food and Alcohol Consumption - The most common immediate cause of gout is over consumption of alcohol and high purine foods. Alcohol is a major immediate cause of gout for three reasons. It is a major source of purines - the building blocks of uric acid; it stimulates the liver to break down purines and thus produce more uric acid; and it affects the kidney's ability to remove uric acid.

Foods that are highest in purines are seafood like herrings, sardines and anchovies, liver and pates, organ meats, and baker's yeast. The alcohol highest in purines is the country's most beloved brew - beer. Basically, binging on the foods listed above and your favorite bottle can cause a rapid change of blood uric acid levels and be a gout trigger. As with most things in life, moderation really is key.

Overall, what do all the triggers listed have in common? They are any event or substance that causes a rapid change in blood (serum) uric acid. So, if you've triggered an attack, now what? Ultimately you need to lower uric acid in your body.

Anti-inflammatory medications like prescription Colcrys, and its cheaper equivalent generic colchicine can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. With a valid doctor's prescription indicating the correct colchicine dosage, you can buy colchicine for gout online from Canada. Many licensed Canadian pharmacies provide a cheaper alternative for gout medication.

Once you have a handle on your own gout triggers and have gout medication on hand to help ease your symptoms, you'll be fast on the road to recovering from your gout attack.


Filed under: Gout Risk.

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