Gout Flares Risk Factors & Triggers
What are the risk factors for gout flares?
A healthy uric acid level is below 6.0 mg/dL. Your doctor can test your uric acid level a few weeks after a gout
flare to see if you may be at risk for additional gout flares.
A number of risk factors can increase uric acid levels, which also increases the risk of experiencing gout flares.
Risk factors include:
- Eating foods that are high in purines (a substance that the body turns into uric acid), such as meats and seafood
- Drinking alcohol (especially beer as well as spirits, which are distilled drinks like whiskey and vodka)
- Consuming food and beverages with high-fructose corn syrup, such as sugar-sweetened soft drinks and artificial fruit drinks
- Being overweight or obese
- Having other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease
- Being over age 40
- Having a family history of gout
- Being male or a female past menopause
- Having received an organ transplant
What triggers a gout flare?
Although the basic cause of gout is a high uric acid level, certain triggers can provoke a flare. While specific gout flare
triggers are different for all patients, common triggers include:
- The use of certain medications, such as diuretics
- The initiation of uric acid-lowering medications
- Excessive drinking, or binge-drinking, of alcohol, especially beer
- Eating lots of purine-rich foods, such as meat or shellfish
- Illness or hospitalization
- Dehydration (not consuming enough water)
COLCRYS (colchicine, USP) does not treat high uric acid levels (the cause of gout), and has not been shown to prevent joint deformities and tissue destruction.