Examples of foods that are high in purines include red meat, seafood, and beer. Meat (especially offal, such as liver and sweetbreads) and shellfish (such as fish and shellfish) can be high in chemicals called purines. When the body breaks them down, the level of uric acid increases. Soft drinks and fruit sugar-flavored juices, such as high-fructose corn syrup, can cause outbreaks of gout.
Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia, in which there is too much uric acid in the body. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in the body and in the food you eat. When there is too much uric acid in the body, uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) can build up in joints, fluids, and body tissues. Hyperuricemia doesn't always cause gout, and hyperuricemia without symptoms of gout doesn't need treatment.
Drinking beer, wine, and liquor is known to raise blood levels of uric acid. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of having a gout attack. You could be one of 8.3 million Americans with gout, a type of arthritis that can cause inflammation and severe pain. Gout is characterized by painful outbreaks, which often occur at night, which can last a couple of weeks, with the worst pain usually occurring within the first 24 hours.
Other symptoms of gout include red, hot skin around the affected joint. When it comes to preventing gout, recognizing symptoms, doing everything possible to avoid triggers, and receiving timely treatment are important first steps to take. People with high blood pressure (hypertension) have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of developing gout. According to the American Heart Association, uncontrolled high blood pressure can weaken, narrow and harden the arteries that carry blood throughout the body, including the arteries found in the kidneys.
This makes it difficult for the kidneys to do their job by excreting waste, such as uric acid, from the body. In addition, diuretics (medicines used to increase urination) that are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure can contribute to the problem by decreasing the amount of urate (a compound in uric acid) that is excreted in the urine. If you have gout pain, see your healthcare provider. Common triggers for a gout outbreak, such as red meat, alcohol and high-sugar beverages, should be limited or avoided to help reduce the risk of a gout outbreak.
To help prevent gout outbreaks, researchers suggest that people with gout try to avoid stress or take steps to reduce it. While certain factors related to food, beverages and lifestyle are known as triggers for gout attacks, there are other triggers for gout that should also be considered. To determine what factors trigger a gout attack in your case, take note of what you consumed or the activities you participated in before the gout got worse.