Gout is caused by a build-up of a substance called uric acid in the blood.

Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid.

When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.


Drinking too much beer or spirits

DietPurine rich foods

Eating or drinking food and drinks high in fructose (a type of sugar).

Having a diet high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. Purine-rich foods include red meat, organ meat, and some kinds of seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna.

Eat & Don’t Eat Food Checklist

Gender & Age

Middle-aged man or postmenopausal woman is most common

Family history

People with blood relatives who have gout are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition themselves.

Gout runs strong in families

Excess Weight

A body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 35 increases male risk of gout threefold.

BMI Calculator

Certain medications

Diuretics have been associated with attacks of gout, but a low dose of hydrochlorothiazide does not seem to increase risk.

Other medications that increase the risk include niacin, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, ritonavir, and pyrazinamide.

Certain health conditions

  • Blood and metabolism disorders or dehydration,
  • Make your body produce too much uric acid.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Poor kidney function