Millions of people around the world are currently suffering from gout. It is a type of arthritis, which is caused by the high levels of uric acid in your blood. When uric acid levels rise, it becomes crystals and gets accumulated on the joints. Gout symptoms include severe joint pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Studies have found that men are more likely to develop gout than women. However, the risk of gout increases in women after they undergo menopause. Many people do not exactly know what causes gout.
Let’s take a look at some of the major causes of gout in humans.
It is well-proven that genetics is one of the key factors responsible for the development of gout in humans. Mutations to the SLC2A9 and SLC22A12 genes can lead to impaired excretion of uric acid through the kidney. It is called hereditary hyperuricemia. There are several other genetic disorders that can lead to gout, such as Lesh-Nyhan syndrome, Kelly-Seegmiler syndrome, hereditary fructose intolerance, medullary cystic kidney disease, etc.
Studies have found that the foods that we eat daily have a significant impact on the development of gout. This is mainly because of the high amounts of purines in most of the foods we eat. When we consume purine-rich foods, the body converts the purines into uric acid, which is filtered out by our kidneys under normal circumstances. However, when the rate of formation of uric acid becomes high, it will be difficult for the kidneys to filter it out. Eventually, the uric acid gets accumulated in the form of crystals on the joints.
There are certain medications that can cause hyperuricemia, abnormal levels of uric acid in the blood. Hyperuricemia can also develop due to impaired renal function. Some diuretic medications like hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide can cause an increase in the concentration of uric acid. Levodopa, a medication that is commonly used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, can also lead to an increase in the uric acid level in your blood.
Some of the health conditions, such as diabetes, lymphoma, hypertension, etc. can predispose you to gout. Some of these diseases negatively affect renal function and increase the uric acid levels in your body. On the other hand, some other health problems cause an abnormal inflammatory response that can promote the production of uric acid. It was also found that infection, traumatic joint injury, a crash diet, etc. can also trigger gout attacks.