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Gout Factsheets

12 Key Factors that Influence Gout                                                                                                       Download PDF

Consumption * Obesity * Overly Acidic and Purine Rich Diet * Crash Dieting & High Protein Diet * Stress * Prescription and OTC Medications * High Blood Pressure * Diuretics * Antibiotic & Friendly Bacteria. * Chlorine Water Intake & Source * Illness / Injury / Surgery *

Gout Awareness

Are you aware of how you may have developed Gout in the first place? Contrary to belief, gout is no longer limited to age and gender and has been on the rise in recent decades continuing to reach epic proportions. Still little is being done to help educate, treat, or prevent Gout's crippling effects on the body.

Please look over some of the contributing factors involved in its development. This may shed some light on how you may be suffering despite possibly not fitting the typical profile.

Gout, a 1799 caricature by James Gillray.










Gout, a 1799 caricature by James Gillray. Picture from the Wikimedia Commons.

Low Kidney Clearance can be due, as much, to too much water as well as too little. Both these extremes can cause an imbalance in the body creating more strain on the kidneys and preventing them from filtering the waste product from the blood efficiently. Indeed too little water or de-hydration can cause the blood vessels to constrict causing blood flow problems which in turn also hamper the kidneys ability to work efficiently. Other factors influencing kidney function can be some prescription and over the counter medication.

The kidneys work rather like a sieve filtering the waste products from the blood. In the case of “Gout sufferers” the increased uric acid, in the blood, puts the kidneys under strain and they are unable to remove all the uric acid allowing it to be passed around the body and stored in the joints and soft tissue where it starts to crystallize, instead of being removed and excreted from the body through the bowels or as urine.

The blood is responsible for carrying the uric acid to the kidneys and then to the urine and bowels in order to be disposed. Lack of blood flow allows for any crystallized uric acid to remain trapped and inhibits the soluble amount from being expelled of properly in order to avoid the storage and crystal formation.

The Liver is the take all for foreign invaders in the body. As the largest gland it is responsible for food metabolism, bile secretion, removal of waste from the blood, toxin filtering, blood volume control, and the synthesizing of essential vitamins and nutrients.

When the liver, and kidneys for that matter, have so many other toxic encounters to deal with daily, then something as natural and necessary as uric acid can become one of the last matters to deal with. Any reduced function of both can greatly add to uric acid imbalance and excretion adding a higher possibility of gouty arthritis formation.

Now let us look at how some other contributing factors add to pressure to the kidneys, liver, and blood flow.

Alcohol consumption requires the attention of the liver and kidneys hindering proper uric acid expulsion. Alcohol not only dehydrates the blood responsible for carrying the uric acid through and out of the body, but it is also rich in purines further producing excessive uric acid.

Obesity which can affect the heart, blood flow, friendly bacteria levels and nutrient assimilation places excess strain on these same organs and functions. As a result, extra uric acid production is common and even more so from the typical diet involved in obesity cases as well as the lack of secretion from this stress placed on all areas responsible for the filtering.

Even without the presence of obesity, the typical diet is overly acidic and purine rich. We know that uric acid is the waste product from the breakdown of purines and purines are the metabolic end result of protein. So too many purines equal too much uric acid production with not nearly enough exits from the body has to result in storage somewhere in the body.


Gout on X-rays of a left foot. Typical location at the big toe joint.

Note also the soft tissue swelling at the lateral border of the foot.

Picture from the Wikimedia Commons.


Acidic/Alkaline balance in the diet, particularly within each meal, is essential to normal function and control of all areas involved. To achieve this balance it is said that at least a 70/30 ratio of alkaline to acidic intake is key. Our typical modern diet is exactly the opposite and in many cases even worse finding mostly a 20/80 ratio.

Crash Dieting & High Protein Diet. The Atkins Diet for example is very high protein and very acidic with little to no alkaline balance, which is essential to creating a healthy body environment. An acidic state allows for disease growth so in turn diets like these can certainly raise your chances of a gout attack.Crash Diets work against the body draining it of vital nutrients, creating an acidic body environment and releasing stored purines from the body fat in the process. As you know excess purine release equals excess uric acid production

Stress is another harsh offender to the body raising acidity levels and killing off strains of good bacteria meant to protect you. Stress can be a key factor in disease growth.

Prescription and over the Counter Medications  and over the Counter Medications are notorious for their acidic nature and have host of side effects. Some are worse than others but they all can contribute to nutrient and good bacteria depletion, and they can heavily weigh on the very organs and functions you need working at their best.



Spiked rods of uric acid (MSU) crystals from a synovial fluid sample photographed under a microscope with polarized light.

Formation of uric acid crystals in the joints is associated with gout.

Picture from the Wikimedia Commons.

High Blood Pressure & Diuretics are some of the top nutrient depleting drugs on the market so it is important to try and at least supplement some vitamins and friendly bacteria during their use. High Blood Pressure Diuretics can add even more concern regarding Gout as they tend to drain too much water from the blood leaving room for much higher uric acid concentrations.

The lack of proper water intake daily adds fuel to the fire. Not only is there too much water being pushed from the body, but not nearly enough going in to replace thus remaining properly hydrated, once again leaving any hopes of proper uric acid excretion minimal at best.

It is important to be very aware of your water intake daily.

When gout occurs due to another condition such as renal disease it is called Secondary Gout. This is also very common with conditions such as High blood pressure and Diabetes. Other common contributors to Secondary gout can be synthetic diuretic usage as detailed above, low dose aspirin use which limits the excretion of uric acid, and high dose Niacin use prescribed for High Cholesterol

Oddly enough, adult dose aspirin does not have the same negative effect in altering the excretion of uric acid as does the commonly prescribed low dose amount of 81mg.

Antibiotics & Friendly Bacteria. Antibiotic use can contribute to the development of high uric acid concentration. Even short term use can push someone already close their first attack over that edge. Antibiotics can be a key factor in gout development if long term and repetitive use has taken place. This holds true because antibiotics are meant to kill off all of the bad bacteria in the body but also take all the good with it as well.

Over 70% of your immune system is in your digestive system and low friendly bacteria counts place a lot of strain on your system's ability to fight infection and disease growth. In fact disease growth flourishes in an acidic and toxic environment which is exactly what happens without enough friendly bacteria present to rule the intestines.

Unfortunately, all of the above contributing factors to gout also directly effect and kill  this much needed good bacteria in the body. Stress, obesity, medications, overly acidic diets, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, chlorinated water and many more all add to the demise of our good bacteria.

Chlorine & Water. Chlorine is inhaled through the steam of a hot shower, bath, hot tub, pool, etc. and also seeps into our pores under these circumstances as well. Chlorine is also found in our tap water and has a direct effect on our health in any manner of contact. Chlorine not only destroys vital strains of friendly bacteria in our body but is a health risk in general for many other reasons.

Water consumption and the source for your drinking water is very important. Unfortunately a good portion of our society is dehydrated and isn't even aware of it, which poses major health risks. With relation to Gout in particular, proper water intake is an essential key to blood hydration and kidney filtration in order to properly expel uric acid from the body.
Illness, injury, and surgery can all factor into pushing over that edge and into your first attack. Most likely you were already in the developing stages and experiencing over production and storage of uric acid and it was simply too much for the body to handle yet one more challenge without repercussion. This can be directed right back towards a lot of the above factors as all three situations usually entail extra stress, pain medication use, fast weight gain or loss, and antibiotic use. Not the best of combinations if predisposition is already at stake.

If you have any questions please email us customerservice@goutcare.co.uk
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