Gout Triggers

Gout Triggers

Common Gout Triggers

When suffering from gout you need to take note of the list of potential gout triggers. You should know gout triggers by heart; trigger foods as well as other gout triggers.

When it comes to foods that can trigger a gout attack, you need to avoid certain foods that are high in purines which can raise your uric acid levels in the blood. Although it’s completely impossible to avoid all purines in your diet, if you know which foods tend to trigger your gout attacks, try and avoid them. You definitely want to avoid:

  • Organ Meats like liver, brains, cow tongue, heart, eyeballs, kidney expect not only a gout attack after an organ meat dinner but watch out for your cholesterol too!
  • Seafood like shrimp, lobster, crab and shellfish can be very appealing to the eye but it’ll get you into trouble. Please avoid it!
  • Meat in general you don’t want to overconsume, I always recommend no more than 4 to 6 ounces a day. Eat red meat no more than twice a week if I were you, lean chicken is better but remember protein is protein and as gout sufferers you want to limit that. Avoid pork completely if I were you. Avoid mincemeat completely too! Always trim the fat from your meat.
  • Certain fish can cause gout flares like sardines, anchovies or herring. It’s never affected me but if you are sensitive to it, watch out!
  • Alcohol. You know it’s bad news for gout. Overindulge in alcohol just one night and expect to pay the price while you are sleeping. It’s happened to me one too many times, let me tell you. Another reason drinking alcohol is so dangerous is because it also dehydrates you which is another common gout trigger.
  • Sugar especially high fructose corn syrup. Read your nutrition labels and do not consume any foods with this horrible ingredient that can wreak havoc to your health and cause a gout attack. Eat sugar but make sure to count how many grams you eat on a daily basis. I recommend no more than 25 grams a day for gout sufferers. Avoid sugary drinks containing fructose like your Cokes and Pepsis.
  • Avoid gorging. Eating rich and heavy meals which contain loads of fat and purines. many complain suffering a gout attack after a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Avoid fried foods that been fried in oil and stay away from prepackaged foods that you need to just warm up but have been fried beforehand.
  • Avoid gravy and rich sauces which are high in fat and added on meats which doubles the risk of you getting a gout attack.

NutriGout Dietary Supplement for Gout


What else can trigger gout flares?

When it comes to medication, you must watch out as well, the wrong kind can really affect your uric acid levels. Some drugs that you may take to treat your high blood pressure or heart disease can also cause gout flares. Avoid diuretics, cyclosporine, beta-blockers, levodopa and even aspirin. Always take your doctor’s advice if prescribed any of these medications.

Medical stress like hospital visits, surgery, pneumonia and other medical conditions can cause gout flares. Injury like twisting your ankle or stubbing your toe can also trigger a gout attack in some people. Uric acid tends to form more readily on injured joints. Episodes of stress can also cause an attack. Be careful when exercising since too much strenuous exercise can also trigger an attack.

In the end everybody has their own little nuances, for some gout sufferers certain foods will trigger it and for others not. Unfortunately, there is no test that lets gout sufferers figure out what triggers will cause their uric acid levels to rise. But mostly all of yous are able to determine the source the very first time you had an attack. For me it was alcohol. What was it for you?

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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  • Elaine Washington

    Reply Reply October 18, 2017

    I am currently in my 2nd bout with gout.
    The first time I woke up and could not get out of bed the pain from my left knee was unbearable. I went to my doctor and she prescribe 100mg Allopurinol. I took the prescription until I felt better. Low and behold the next week I woke up to an attack in my left foot. Could the second attack be due to not continuing the medication as prescribed?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply October 18, 2017

      Could be Elaine! Contact your doctor or rheumatologist and let them know!

    • Joanne Tolles

      Reply Reply October 22, 2017

      Please do not take Allopurinol. I did for 2 weeks and got Stevens Johnson Syndrome which had me in a burn unit for 9 days. I am in my 5th week since onset and am still recovering. Do not take this drug….. please.

  • Julie Bowdery

    Reply Reply October 14, 2017

    My husband has suffered Gout in every joint for 34 years, since he was 20 years old.
    He was given 100mg of Allopurinol for many years and in that time he put on lots of weight and still had many attacks. His doctor fobbed him off with take painkillers etc ..

    My thoughts were that if his weight had doubled, surely his Allopurinal should be increased, which I mentioned too his doctor, who therefore increased too 300mg (Surely a doctor should have known this) and some weight loss would not go a miss either and his Gout attacks has now been very rare and under control as long as Allopurinol is taken every day for life.

    Last week my husband had a Gastric Bypass, his first ever operation and although his Allopurinal was not missed, he has had a flare up of Gout in his ankle after surgery, which I believe is quite common.

    A healthy diet is now in order and it’s great too read some of your diet tips on here. Thank you Spiro!

  • Dale Rogers

    Reply Reply October 3, 2017

    I’ve suffered with gout for several years, mostly due to my own eating habits as I love food. I drink Black Cherry juice right from the bottle everyday which helps. My issue is that I suffer with it mostly in my wrist, fingers, and it moves from one to the other. I’m now on some meds that do very little to help.

  • David

    Reply Reply September 26, 2017

    I’m on my second “major” bout with gout. My first go around affected my right big toe. This time it skipped my big toe and hit my second toe on the same foot. I thought this was odd. After reading about the triggers, I now know that I ate and drank every possible trigger to bring on the gout! Time to change the diet and be more mindful of things. Glad I found this site.

  • Brandy Drake

    Reply Reply July 27, 2017

    Hello! I just recently was diagnosed with gout, however, my case is a little different than most. 3 years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after having years of pain. Since I am used to pain the gout pain caught me off guard and I thought I had injured my foot. Do you know if my gout and fibro could cause each other to trigger? Right now my gout is in my right foot only. Thank you so much for any feedback you may have!

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 27, 2017

      It really depends who you ask. Some will say yes that both diseases are interrelated and others will say no, that they are separate. I don’t think that the fibro can trigger a gout attack but like other forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, osteoarthritis…you were probably at a higher risk of developing gout since you developed fibromyalgia first.

  • Allen Cook

    Reply Reply July 9, 2017

    I suffer from gout. I used to have 2 to 3 outbreaks a year. Then last year I had 3 in the span of 2 months. So after that I completely changed my diet. I only ate chicken, only drink water, no sodas, no red meats. I drink alcohol occasionally but when I do it’s a light white rum, with a lower alcohol content then hard liquors. And in doing that, I haven’t had a outbreak in 7 months. Until a week ago I injured my knee playing basketball. And the joint was sore for a few days and a little swelling had occured. But after a few more days it was slowly feeling better. Until I woke up like 5 days after the injury and the swelling has gotten a lot worse and the pain had increased. It’s then I realized that the gout had set in on my knee.

    Does trauma to a joint cause got flare ups?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 10, 2017

      Hi Allen!

      It sure can. If you read my site, I’ve mentioned this that a traumatic event and/or an injury say sports-related can cause a gout attack.

  • Radu

    Reply Reply June 28, 2017

    Dear all,

    I am new on this website and already found it to be very helpful. Thank you Spiro for it!
    I am 41 years old and got my first gout attack beginning of February this year. Still learning how to control it, although I find very useful tips every day.

    My question is this today. Can sun bathing be triggering gout attacks? I recently returned from a trip to the sea and feeling a medium pain and swollen in both my feet. Could this be the cause?

    Thank you for your time and help and wish you good health! Best regards!

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply June 28, 2017

      Hi Radu!

      Weather can play a role in your gout, you can learn how in this post that I have written about weather and gout.

      If weather changes dramatically from cold to hot and vice versa, many gout sufferers experience joint pain or flare-ups.

  • mark

    Reply Reply December 28, 2016

    Hi, I have a gout before and it’s been 3 years that never had experience again but just today when I woke up this morning and the gout attacked on my left foot lucky I have my medicine for gout…My question is does the whey protein can trigger gout cause I do work out and salmon fish can cause gout? Please advise. Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!!

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply December 30, 2016

      Hi Mark!

      Yes whey protein can cause a gout attack. I’ve written an article on the subject you can read here.

      • faozan rizal

        Reply Reply January 5, 2017

        I am cinematographer in Asia and Europe, My Gout trigger is very funny, Every times i do hand held or maybe my camera is too heavy…i always have small attack in my knees then in the next days swollen and triggers also in the ankle…

        • Aris Poon

          Reply Reply May 10, 2017

          Hi Fraoza, I suffer from gout too. I was by my doctor that once a joint got affected, any trauma on it or anything that causes the joints to overload may trigger gout attack

  • Ophelia Jackson

    Reply Reply October 6, 2016

    I love sea foods. The main ones that I eat I could not find to get an answer to whether I should have them or not . Catfish, buffalo fish, crappies..

    I have been on a change of lifestyle eating and I love shrimp , eating shrimp in moderation good or bad?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply October 6, 2016

      Sorry Ophelia! All seafood is bad for you and raises uric acid levels. Try and eat it only on special occasions.

  • Deepak Rao

    Reply Reply October 5, 2016

    Thanks for your tips Eduardo! What do you attribute your weight loss to? Looking for suggestions.

  • Amrit

    Reply Reply September 16, 2016

    Hi There

    September 3rd I woke up with very painful pain in my foot, around my toe and as I played cricket on the Wednesday before I thought it may have been an injury to do with that. However I went to doctors and they tested me for Gout and confirmed that I had high levels of uric acid. Since Tuesday 6th September, I have been taking Naproxen and the swelling has gone down, walking normally, however I am struggling to put shoes and trainers and walk in them and get a pain in my big toe, when I bend my big toe up towards me. Bending it downwards does not cause any pain. I think this is my girst gout attack and it has been very painful, does anyone know why I can not get my shoes or trainers and walk in them yet? Any advice or tips would be great. The doctor told me it still may be swelling around there, so it’s not gone and once clear should return to normal.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply September 16, 2016

      Hi Amrit!

      Your toe and foot and inflammed so any pressure you give it, it will hurt. That’s why it’s best to walk around in slippers for now and not shoes until the pain subsides.

      • Amrit

        Reply Reply September 19, 2016

        Thank you for reply

        I have today managed to get my shoes and walk, slight pain if my bend my toe towards me but its a lot better. I have changed my diet and I think I am seeing the rewards from it now.

  • Terry Proveau

    Reply Reply June 9, 2016

    I stubbed my toe pretty hard this week after injuring it a few weeks back moving some patio stones. It got very painful and kept getting worse I thought it was just an injury but it’s turned out to be gout I guess triggered by the injury. My doctor is giving me Colchicine .6 mg and I am tolerating it fine so far. Took 2 tablets yesterday one hour apart that went fine so I took 2 this morning at once 45 minutes ago and plan another one in 15 minutes. Hopefully no stomach problems. Supposed to take once a day after this day. The problem is my pain has actually gotten worse not better and the area is more swollen and warm. Just wondering what else I can try at the same time or should I wait a few days and if the medication still isn’t helping try something else. I welcome your suggestions this is the first time I have ever had gout.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply June 10, 2016

      Hi Terry!

      THe first gout attack is always the worst. Be patient and the pain and swellness will subside. Also try any of the recommended natural home remedies to speed things up from this website.

      Good luck!

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply May 3, 2016

    ok with red meat, is ok to have red meat once in a while, and also which mince meat, you say avoid all together, so that means beef mince is out of the questions

    • Hi Andrew!

      If you’re gonna have red meat, try and keep it at once a week. Even mince meat. I love a good burger like everybody else from time to time.

  • Paul

    Reply Reply April 3, 2016

    I have suffered with gout for at least 6 years now typically 3 to four attacks a year.

    Each time I keep a record of the event, how bad it was, how long it lasted and most important what I ate a few days before and here is what I have learned about myself:

    I went over a year and a half without a gout attack from Jan 2015 until now – April 2016. Suddenly – I’ve had two attacks since 3/19/16. After analysis of my notes for the last 5 years, I think I now know what may be their cause.

    The first one was 5 days after starting to take Glucosamine and Chondrointin with MSM for my joints -which is basically ground up shrimp, crab and lobster crustacians) (I recently had a torn labrum repaired on my hip and the doc suggested it). Combined with that, I ate two dinners in a row with red meat, asparagus and more booze – Jim Beam than normal – and poof – an attack on my left ankle near the middle of the foot. Lasted almost a week and used Prednisone to knock it down. I attributed it to the combo of the glucosamine, asparagus, red meat and too much booze in a short period.

    Second attack came just yesterday – and this one was due to once again two dinners in a row with lamb, asparagus and shrimp – along with not hydrating enough -and drinking too much along with the heavy dinners.

    In thinking back why I had no attacks in about 16 months – I realized that it is the combination of my triggers (shrimp, red meat, asparagus, mushrooms, booze/beer without enough hydration that all come together in a short period of time – say 2 days or so that fires it up.) If however, I only have a few shrimp say 6 to 8 big ones, and a chicken dinner and salad – Im ok – even with drinking beer and booze – and its okay if I have some red meat spaced out a few days in between – but it is the combination of red meat, asparagus, shrimp and booze all in one sitting that brings it on. So I’ve learned now pretty comfortably that I can tolerate alcohol, shrimp, red meat asparagus and mushrooms, if they are spaced out individually over 3 to 4 days break in between – then I’m okay. Over the last 16 months I have been very careful to avoid all of the triggers being consumed in a short period – (2-3 days) and I’m okay.

    It was just recently that I ended up eating out at friends places for basketball games where I couldn’t control the intake as well that they served up nothing but triggers and my consuming them in a short period sent it off again.
    Conclusion: for my body at least, as long as I space out the intake of triggers in smaller quantities and spread out – shrimp one week, a little red meat the next, a LITTLE of asparagus then next week AND I stay properly hydrated I’m good to go – that’s what I realized I have done over the last 16 months. I was so paranoid of an attack I avoided all the triggers – except beer and booze. Then about two months ago, I started testing out some shrimp, red meat etc to see if any reaction and none. (BUT it was BECAUSE they had been spaced out over many days in between and small amounts) But then I got a little careless and thought – okay, I can tolerate them together in short periods and “over-indulged” as I explained above and it came back. So find your triggers, then either eliminate them entirely which I did for about 4 months last year, or at minimum, reduce the amounts and SPREAD THEM OUT over a period of weeks – don’t bunch the triggers together in 2 to 3 day periods – it quickly builds up the uric acid and fires off a bout. Oh – and stay well hydrated – especially if you take in alcohol – at least 5- 12 ounce glasses of water per day. On my current bout, I dropped the water down to just 2 -12 oz. glasses of water for 2 days along with the triggers being bunched and poof my latest bout came in – although not too bad, just a little sensitive area on my left big toe – not nearly as acute as some of the violent reactions I’ve had before where I couldn’t walk on my left foot for a couple of days – this attack is minor and am finding apple cider vinegar to be a big help in calming it down. So cut back, be more moderate in your trigger intake – if at all, stay hydrated – VERY important. Also keep a log and good notes to help yourself figure out what your body can deal with. Trying to figure out what bothers you is the hard part. I really hope my analysis here is on target for me and hopefully some of you – the last 16 months were great!!

  • Vikki Krupp

    Reply Reply October 6, 2015

    For Eduardo…

    I have heard that taking too much in the way of Vit c supplements may help cause kidney stones…..especiallly since you are prone to gout…just thinking !

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply October 6, 2015

      Yes you are referring to the Swedish study but only 2% of the men developed kidney stones and who says you must take so much vitamin C anyway. Everything in moderation, too much of anything will harm you somewhere else. Good point Vikki!

  • Theresa

    Reply Reply September 14, 2015

    As always, thanks for the updates and eye openers. I’m still not too sure whether it’s particular foods or various stresses rhat cause my attacks but I will keep on the alert!

  • Eduardo Valdes

    Reply Reply September 8, 2015

    Hi Spiro

    I had my first gout attack last year. Twice in a year 4 months apart. I haven’t had an attack since and I don’t take any drugs for gout.

    I still eat what I want, when I want and drink alcoholic l when I like.

    I read everything I could get my hands on regarding gout and made a decision that I wanted to eat and drink as before so I devised this plan that has worked perfectly.

    1. I didn’t eat red meat for 20 years. My first attack came after going back to eating a lot of red meat, so I’ve cut that (Probably the only thing, besides beer that I’ve left out of my diet).
    2. I drink Baking Soda di,Utes with water twice a day.
    3. 2,000 mg of Vitamin C
    4. I drink every morning the following mix:
    Apple Cider Vinegar unfiltered with the mother to which I add Ground Turmeric, Ground Ginger, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice.

    This lowers inflammation .

    Also, I’ve lost some weight, about 12 pounds and walk 4 miles daily.

    So far, so good.

    Hope this helps your readers.


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