Does Gout Increase Your Risk of Developing Cancer?

Gout is more than just a painful type of arthritis. It’s also a sign of deeper problems like diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart failure and even cancer. If you have gout, make sure to get diagnosed for diseases you’re most likely at risk for. That way, you’re able to make better health decisions that’s will not just benefit your gout symptoms but your overall health as well.

Here are more facts to help you understand how serious gout really is:

  • Compared with individuals who do not have gout:
    • Women and men with gout, respectively, had a nearly 4 times and 1.9 times increased risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.
    • 4 times and 3.2 times increased risk of hypertension
    • 7 times and 2.8 times increased risk of chronic heart failure
    • 0 times and 2.4 times increased risk of chronic kidney disease (Renal & Urology News)
  • Gout is associated with a 32% and 13% increased risk of malignancies in women and men, respectively. (Renal & Urology News)
  • Women and men with gout were 8.9 times and 4.4 times more likely to be alcohol abusers compared with individuals who did not have gout. (Renal & Urology News)
  • Gout is part of the five common chronic diseases associated with one fifth of new cancer cases and more than a third of all cancer deaths. These markers shortened lifespan by 13.3 years in men and 15.9 years in women. (Medscape)
  • Gout is associated with increased risk of cancer, particularly cancer in males. Other conditions strongly associated with gout include liver, lung, and colonic cancers. (PubMed)

Sounds scary doesn’t it? The good news is that you can still mitigate these risks. Uric acid is a marker for gouty arthritis; the higher your uric acid is, the worse your gout symptoms will be. And the worse your gout symptoms get, the more at risk you are for the deadly diseases mentioned above! So, the goal is to lower uric acid levels and avoid habits that lead to serious health consequences.



8 Steps That You Can Take To Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

Here are steps you should take to ensure you live a long healthy life, even with gout:

  1. Physical activity

It’s cheap, effective, and safe for preventing risks of gout symptoms and other chronic and cancerous diseases. Studies have shown that exercise is associated with 40% reduction in cancer risk associated with chronic diseases like gout. Try the 7 minute workout if you don’t have time to exercise. Those 7 minutes can do wonders for your health!

  1. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption

In addition to exercise, you should also avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. Smoking, in general, is bad for your health, while alcohol is terrible for gout. One study found that gout patients were at an increased risk of cancer particularly lung cancer, digestive system cancers, and urological cancers. If you have gout and you still smoke and drink, better kick the habit soon so you can live longer.

  1. Drink enough water

Water may help dilute the uric acid and assist the kidneys in flushing it out. Make sure to drink at least 12 1-ounce glasses of water every day.

  1. Limit foods rich in purines

Avoid purine-rich foods as much as possible. Purines break down into uric acid in the body and then passes through your kidneys to your urine. If the body produces too much uric acid or the kidney can’t flush out enough, that’s when gout occurs.

These are the top foods high in purines:

  • All organ meats including liver, meat extracts, seafood and gravy
  • Beer and alcoholic beverages
  • Red meat, pork, lamb and chicken
  • Any food or beverage with high fructose corn syrup and some medications may also aggravate uric acid levels

Take note, some of these foods are actually very healthy but because they are so high in purines, it’s recommended that you limit your consumption of them to prevent your uric acid levels from rising.

  1. Avoid sugary drinks and processed foods

Some sugary beverages are also culprit to gout attacks. This includes fruit-flavored drinks, soda and processed food. Not only is it bad for your gout, but it also increases your risk for developing diseases like diabetes and kidney disease.

Food manufacturers are very good at hiding the bad stuff they put in their packaged foods. You never know whether it’s real juice concentrate unless you read the label. It’s important to check the ingredient list. If it’s artificial sugar like aspartame, sucralose, or xylitol, don’t buy it. It will only make your gout worse. If you have a sweet tooth, you can learn to curb your cravings using natural sweet food and sweeteners like fruits, honey, date sugar, maple syrup, and agave nectar.

  1. Eat “yes” foods in moderation

These are the foods you can eat that are low in purine:

  • 100% whole wheat breads, pasta, rice
  • Low fat milk products, eggs, greek yogurt
  • Lettuce, broccoli, green veggies
  • Beans and lentils
  • Natural peanut butter, fruits, and nuts
  • Water

Eat these foods in moderation. For example, just because pasta is low in purines, it doesn’t mean you should wolf down a huge bowl of spaghetti for breakfast. Again, moderation is key. You still want to maintain a healthy weight to prevent your gout symptoms from worsening and other chronic conditions from developing.

  1. Watch your medication

Some gout medications can cause health complications that later lead to cancer. This is especially true for women. One study found that women taking certain short and long-term gout medications were significantly at higher risk for cancer. However, no association was observed in the male group. Even then, it’s still better to be on the safe side. Gout after all, affects mostly men than it does women.

So, whether you’re male or female, make sure to inform your doctor of any pre-existing conditions you may have so that they can properly prescribe you with the right uric acid lowering drug.

  1. Take some vitamin C

Natural sources of vitamin C include oranges, green peppers, strawberries, guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi, and papaya. You can also take vitamin C in supplement form; aim for at least 500mg per day. Vitamin C has been found to maybe help lower uric acid levels and may kill cancer cells.

In Conclusion

The big C is no joke. If you suffer from gout, don’t wait for it to get worse. Make these changes today and your body will thank you later.

Do you have pre-existing conditions that come with your gout? What steps are you taking to lessen your risk for complications? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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    17 replies to "Gout and Cancer"

    • Dean Cartwright

      Merry Christmas! First time I’ve seen chicken as a red meat ?
      Is Ashwagandha good for gout ?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Dean!

        Chicken is meat and as I advocate, you can eat about 200 calories of your favourite meat daily, about 4 to 6 ounces. But too much meat consumption, any type of meat is where you can get into trouble. So just watch your intake.

        As for ashwagandha, it won’t help you with gout, it’s mostly used for anxiety and stress. There is always NutriGout 😉

    • Bea

      Hi in 2016 I had bladder cancer diagnosed, had resection of the tumour and chemo which was successful. A surveillance cystoscopy recently showed something growing again and I’ve had biopsy surgery and awaiting results. I recently had a raised SUA level and an excruciatingly painful first episode of what the doctor thinks was gout, which settled with Colchicine. Reading your interesting article I’m wondering if the two are linked and could this mean I am on the way to getting another cancer too?

      Thanks for the food suggestions too; it will allow me to hone my choices for better living.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yes chemo can raise uric acid levels, so gout here seems like a complication of your cancer. One thing I will tell you is to eat nothing but complex carbohydrates when fighting cancer. Do not eat anything with sugar not even fruit. Avoid all meats as well. Sugar has shown in studies to feed cancer cells stimulating tutor growth. So eat only fresh vegetables, legumes, beans, 100% whole grain breads, pastas and rices. Drink only water, herbal teas and coffee. Avoid all processed foods as well.

        Good luck!

    • Mtm

      Hello, I went to the hospital in China and they found I have gout, the result says that I have 538.7 and the doctor told me that normal it should be 208.0-428.0, so I would like to ask if it’s very serious because when I’mm working out or running my knee hurts and I feel very uncomfortable the whole leg when I’m sleeping!

      Any help?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        It’s not super high so with the right dietary changes and medication you can get it to the healthy range.

    • Eileen

      My gout triggers are beets, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage & asparagus. I was almost a vegetarian and then developed gout. I am on Uloric and avoid all of these vegetables. I started taking a multivitamin and developed gouty symptoms, stopped it for 3 weeks and then restarted the vitamin & developed gouty symptoms again. I worry about not eating vegetables!

      • Chanan

        I suggest that you check whether Uloric was recently recalled or removed from the market

    • Chuck

      Came across your website this morning and look forward to getting your book and spending time reading your blogs. After spending hours researching ending conflicting data, I’m now going to use your site to help me manage my gout.

      I just had my second round, which is not as bad as the first which occurred about two months ago. I’ve been strictly plant based diet for over ten years with no processed foods, white flour, sugar, soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, ect. and still get gout. Amazing. The only thing I could think to do, at the first event, was cut back on beans, which I was consuming almost daily, and spinach which was also a part of my daily salad.

      At this time I am still off beans, but consuming a little spinach. I also discontinued my daily Chlorella Powder which I had consumed for years. About a month ago, I started taking the chlorella powder again. Now I believe the chlorella may be my trigger. I found an article that stated that chlorella could cause elevated uric acid levels.

      Do you have any, or know of anyone, who has had any issues with chlorella. I keyed it into your website and got no answers.

      My uric acid test was in the mid normal range at the first event, and two weeks ago was 1 point above the max range.

      I am taking no medicine except ibuprofen and haven’t seen a Dr. since the first event.


      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Chuck!

        Doubtful it’s the Chlorella. If you are eating a plant based diet and you are still experiencing high uric acid levels then it must mean that your kidneys are not functioning properly and may require medication for long term management of your uric acid levels. If you don’t take care of it then you could experience complications like uric acid kidney stones for example.

        Best to seek the advice of 2 rheumatologists and take it from there, also do frequent blood tests to see where you stand while dieting.

    • Dave Giesbrecht

      What’s the most common type of cancer caused?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Dave!

        According to the study, urological cancers, digestive system cancers, and lung cancer.

    • Ray


      I love your web site! I tell everybody that I find out has Gout about it and how you have helped me. I have changed my eating based on your web site AND your book. I loved reading your book and I’m always referring to it. My wife gave a copy to me. She is a fantastic cook and she is very concerned about my Gout. BTW, it’s her cooking, that I love to eat! That made me heavy in the first place! HA! If her cooking wasn’t soooo good I wouldn’t over eat! Now she cooks Gout controlling meals. Lots of your recipes.

      I was told that as a gout sufferer I shouldn’t be taking my two low dose aspirins every day. Is this correct?



      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Ray!

        If it’s baby aspirin you are referring to, then that is fine especially if you have a heart condition. Gout is part of the metabolic syndrome that can increase one’s risk of developing heart disease or stroke down the road. Make sure to run it by your doctor as well just to make sure since everybody’s health situation is different.

    • Mariusz

      Just wanted to let you know that since I started drinking lemon juice every morning my gout has disappeared. I stopped all medications , still drink in moderation . It really is a wonder food! I must say my gout was never very severe and my weight is normal.

    • Georgia

      I have had breast cancer and hypertension (since age 27) I am following a mainly plant based diet with addition of one peice of fish and one peice of chicken a week. I do eat in moderation too as I watch my figure to reduce strain on joints. I am on feboxstat 80mg. I excercise by walking an hour a day with dog. Am I doing enough?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Way better than the majority of gout sufferers out there Georgia! Keep it up!

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