What causes gout? There are different factors that may pre-disposition someone to have gout:
The uric acid crystals that cause gout symptoms are produced when the uric acid levels in the body increase. Purines in the food that we eat will create uric acid when they are broken down by the digestive process. The body naturally processes the foods and then send the uric acid to the kidneys, which in turn rid the body of the uric acid through urine. But, if the body is unable to eliminate all of the uric acid then gout symptoms may occur. Protein rich foods may be a cause of gout because they create higher levels of uric acid. Because affluent societies eat a diet of fat, proteins and alcohol, gout is more common. Lead poisoning can also be a cause of gout.
It is possible that kidney defects may genetically predisposition a person to develop gout. Additionally, racial factors may be a key factor– for example, it has been found that gout symptoms are high among the people of the Pacific Islands. In the United States, it has been found that African American males are twice as likely to have gout than Caucasians. Another cause of gout may be the seasonal changes, it has been found that many people experience more gout symptoms in the spring time.
Gout symptoms are more likely to occur in men between the ages of 40 and 50. Although hereditary factors may predisposition someone to gout, there are things that can be done to lower the uric acid levels and lessen the symptoms.
Other health factors may cause a person to develop gout including: obesity or excessive weight gain, hypertension, heavy alcohol intake, renal disorders, abnormal kidney function, and diabetes.
Some gout attacks may be triggered by recent surgery, this is most likely related to the fact that changes in the body fluids have occurred. Patients are advised that they should stop fluid intake in preparation for the surgery which changes the balance of body fluids.