You’re in agony, and you don’t know why. You get the tests, and your doctor laughs and says “it’s gout!”

Why me?

Then the garbage hits you. Everyone has an opinion. You’re too fat. You eat the wrong things. You enjoy too much rich living. You’re just like your grandad.

That’s it! The last one. 99 people will talk trash about gout caused by your lousy eating habits. One person will tell you that gout is genetic. Bad diet is never a good thing. It shortens your life, but it is rarely the cause of gout. If you have a bad diet, it is good to try and make it right, but that is unlikely to stop gout.

Gout is caused by years of high uric acid. It probably started in your 30s, but you never noticed it. The doctors call it asymptomatic hyperuricemia, which simply means high uric acid that does not trouble you. It does not trouble you at first. After a few years, it bites so hard you wonder if someone just ripped your toe off.

So why is your uric acid high?

For most people, it’s like short-sightedness or the color of your hair. It’s inherited, and you have to accept it.

Sometimes, high uric acid is caused by drugs for other health problems. Usually, there is an alternative treatment that won’t give you gout.

Sometimes, you really are eating too much of the wrong things. If your diet is so bad that it causes gout, other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes are just waiting to happen. Gout is your wake-up call to start eating healthy. I can help you do that without stopping your enjoyment of food.

Most times, gout is a hereditary condition. Most times, your kidneys have a genetic defect that prevents excess uric acid passing out of your body. Sometimes, your body produces too much uric acid.

Why Gout Causes Matter Image
Do you know why gout causes matter?

Gout Reasons

Reasons to Control Uric Acid

Whatever the reason for your gout, you cannot ignore it. Gout flares come and go, but gout is with you every day. Even when you are not in pain, uric acid crystals are growing and spreading. Your joints are being destroyed, and crystals spread into soft tissues, damaging skin, kidneys, heart and all other organs.

If, like me, you are overweight, read my Gout Diet guidelines, and let me help you fight the fat. Getting down to a healthy weight is not only good for gout, but it will also save you from many other diseases that can ruin your life.

Reasons to Control Gout Pain

Whatever the reason for your gout, you need to master the pain, and also stop it returning. I have all the information you need in my Gout Treatment guidelines. Learn to stop gout pain, and stop it returning by getting safe uric acid levels.

If your gout is caused by drugs for other health problems or environmental factors such as toxins, we call this secondary gout. You can learn more in my Gout Symptoms and Causes guidelines.

Reasons to Get Help Now

Whatever the reason for your gout, I am here to help you understand it and control it. Why do you think you have gout?

Leave Causes of Gout to browse the Gout Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis guidelines.

Why do I have Gout Comments

GoutPal visitor responses and associated research include:

Causes of Gout

Mike wrote, “I really can’t understand the causes of gout. You mention gout can start in your 30s. And my brother was 32 when he started with gout. So when I passed my 40s without gout I thought it couldn’t be genetic in my family. But now I’ve just been diagnosed aged 55. So is my gout caused by genetics or something else?”

After commiserating with Mike, I explained some causes of gout, summarized below. But I also explained how all these causes can affect individuals in different ways. Especially because genetics is a complicated mix of different genes from our ancestors. So even identical twins can be affected differently. With different genetic causes of gout. Also, with different reactions to the other gout causes. Therefore, it is usually best to stop worrying about why you have gout. Instead, focus on your uric acid level and discuss with your doctor how to get it down to a safe level.

Causes of Gout List

This list of gout causes is based on two comprehensive reviews. The first study notes that gout cannot occur without uric acid crystals[1]. Normally, that means high uric acid (above 6.6 mg/dL at 37 °C). But several factors affect formation of crystals. So exact uric acid levels that cause crystals may be higher or lower than 6.6 mg/dL in different people.

That study then describes causes of gout in 6 sections:

  1. Genetics
  2. Age, gender, and socioeconomic causes
  3. Diet and alcohol consumption
  4. Comorbid conditions
  5. Medications
  6. Exposure to lead

The second study summarizes causes of gout into 3 groups[2]:

  1. Genetics
  2. Environmental causes (including diet)
  3. Factors affecting crystal formation and reaction to uric acid crystals

I explain the details of these causes of gout in many articles. At this time, I have not compiled a comprehensive detailed list. So the easiest way to find information about different causes of gout is to use the search box near the top of each page.

Please remember: to find more related pages that are relevant to you, use the search box near the top of every page.

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Causes of Gout References

  1. Kuo, Chang-Fu, Matthew J. Grainge, Weiya Zhang, and Michael Doherty. “Global epidemiology of gout: prevalence, incidence and risk factors.” Nature reviews rheumatology 11, no. 11 (2015): 649.
  2. Robinson, Philip C. “Gout–An update of aetiology, genetics, co-morbidities and management.” Maturitas 118 (2018): 67-73.

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