There isn’t a cure for gout. All gout sufferers know this.
So in the absence of a cure, they commonly ask the one question that helps them try to manage their condition: “What triggers my gout attacks?”
In theory, people who regularly suffer from the horrid pain of gout attacks could potentially avoid them by knowing what their triggers are.
We won’t be able to identify all of your personal gout attack triggers in this blog post but we will share the commonly suspected triggers that we found from discussions with many gout sufferers.
Our founder Randal Whitmore, and many other gout sufferers, believe that dehydration could be a common gout attack trigger. He and others said that they could tell an attack was coming between 24 – 48 hours after they’d exhausted themselves on a hot day and forgot to drink enough water.
The same observations were shared by people who forgot to drink enough water when they did a challenging workout at the gym or played an intense sport. Some of these people said they drank up to 8 litres of water per day during these situations to try to prevent an attack from happening. We can imagine that this means you need to be near a bathroom for regular toilet breaks but it could potentially help you avoid getting an attack.
There are many sources that suggest high purine diets could increase your body’s uric acid levels, which is bad news for gout sufferers. The research that has been done does not clearly specify exactly how much impact a high purine diet has on uric acid levels, however, many people with gout, who track their behaviour before attacks occur, believe that high purine foods could be a trigger.
Foods like bacon, some seafoods, and other high purine foods were mentioned by gout sufferers when sharing their potential triggers. Eating and drinking in moderation is a good rule of thumb and many people have mentioned that their gout attacks occurred shortly after they’d eaten significantly more high purine foods than usual.
It’s important to recognise that diet is generally a complex thing so eating a well-balanced range of foods on the purine scale is probably the best way to go.
This was an interesting and usual discovery from discussions.
Many people have experienced an initial increase in attacks after taking some new gout medications, in particular Allopurinol. This might be a coincidence but it’s mentioned every day by people in gout community conversations.
There could of course be many other factors at play but a common theme that arises is many gout sufferers are taking a new medication. It could be the case that things need to get worse before they get better with the meds but it’s worth speaking to your doctor/GP/rheumatologist/pharmacist if you’re worried about potential side effects or resultant symptoms.
These are just some of the potential gout attack triggers that we’ve found from discussions with people who have gout. We hope you find this helpful and we will keep this blog post updated as we learn and hear of new potential triggers.
A gout-friendly diet helps reduce the risk of over-producing uric acid in your body. Here we look at which foods to avoid and eat in moderation…
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