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 may 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 may 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 may really affect your uric acid levels. Some drugs that you may take to treat your high blood pressure or heart disease may 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?

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    56 replies to "Gout Triggers"

    • Tom


      I recently twisted and ankle and developed some tendinitis in my Achilles. I’m now suffering an attack. I’ve read a lot over the years and I know everyone is different but this works for me:

      – Drink a spoonful of bicarb soda with water 2 x daily
      – Lose a few kgs/pounds
      – Drink loads of water (if you’re not peeing clear all the time you’re not drinking enough)
      – When you get the feeling you about to get an attack smash 4 x indocid pills with a glass of bicarb water. Empty stomach not advised but it works better/faster
      – use heat not ice. This helps the crystals dissolve quicker. In Australia we call it abc tape. It’s like a big band aid but heats up. Stick it on the affected area.

      I was determined not to be on medication from the age of 35 for the rest of my life. I read and tried a lot and this works for me. I moderated my diet a very small amount but found I can still eat all the things I was told not too and drink beer. Just go with the bicarb and lose some weight. It’s amazing.

      Cheers and thanks. I learn more from these forums than any doctor. You don’t know what it is like until you live with it and many doctors don’t.

    • Sfk

      I have a high uric acid reading and never get gout attack until recently.
      Recently had a sprained ankle and lately suffered 3 gout attacks in span of 2 months.
      Is that sprained ankle triggers gout attack?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yes an injury can trigger a gout attack, make sure to check it with your doctor to make sure.

    • Brian

      I have had very occasional gout for about 20 years, cured by diclofenac when it flares up. I have been taking Rovustatin (Crestor) for a long time and ran out a couple of weeks ago. Got some more yesterday, took one last night, and this morning the big toe joint on one foot is throbbing like heck, I can tell it’s probably gout. I see that some people can have gout triggered by Statins, count me as proof this can happen. Took diclofenac and it seems to be working to clear it up.

    • Gout foods

      One of my friend was siffering from severe gout pain. Searching a lot on internet, we found a simple solution in one of a article that eating cherries can reduce gout attacks. It helped him and now his severity of attacks has reduced.

    • Jake

      Took a hockey puck to the skate 3 years ago (I was 28), thought I broke something as the foot pain didnt go away. Saw dr, got x-rays, etc… found out the pain was gout. At 28 years old, a hockey puck being shot into my skate and hurting my foot has caused ogoing gout triggered by red meat and beer. Stupid. I eat balanced and healthy.. a lil too much red meat and or Beer, boom, gout.

    • Mary

      Hello,Spiro!I have so many health issues! D.I.S.H. Osteoarthritis,Psoriatric Arthritis,
      Rod’s and screws 48, too be exact, holding my spine together. They call mine Gouty Arthritis, …in every joint. Pancreas just quit on me, from surgery to remove gallbladder. Gout is 7.4 No enzymes, they put me on Creon! My foot is huge, walking impossible! I have to fly home next week, I’m scared! Oh, they put me on lasix 40mg. Potassium. Everything hurts, I take no pain meds, don’t drink any booze, don’t smoke, no high Corn fructose! Oh yes, A1C 7.4, my Primary says no big deal, my Pancreas Dr. Said, you’re diabetic now, you need insulin now, what’s with all these Dr.s not working together! Bless you and thank you!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Sorry to hear Mary. Your health situation is unique. If I were you I’d consult 2 different rheumatologists who specialize in rheumatic diseases like gout and arthritis and see what they recommend for you. I would take it from there. Nonetheless, do the best you can with your diet. It can only help you!

    • David

      In spite of what I have seen on various sites, I have learned through trial and error that, in my case, garlic causes my gout to flare up. Take inventory of what you consume to help determine the causes.

    • Suman Shress

      Sir I have 10.8 uric acid and I drink 4 litres of water daily but it’s not reducing my uric acid and also I’m taking medicine.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        If medication not working then you will need an increased dose. Visit your doctor and do new blood tests to see what they can do about it.

      • Greg T

        Hello. I suffered my first gout attack in 2014, had a recurrence 2017, and the last two months, on and off. With this latest attack, I have found, just by chance, that what has worked for me to relieve the symptoms, pain, and swelling a lot, and within a day I could feel results, is eating Spanish olives with the red pimento inside, and drinking about 2 tablespoons of the juice. I eat about 15 olives every twelve hours, and it , so far, seems to be helping.

    • Pat

      What-the-f*uck?! Everything causes gout! What is this bullsh*t!?!? Came out of no where! This is a major dissability! I may as well be in a wheel chair for the rest of my fucking life! Im 33 and all this gout BS just started happening couple years ago and it just gets worse! I have no idea what the hell is trigerring my gout! First my ankles take turns for 2 years now it went to my knee and I just wanna shoot my self! I could eat EVERYTHING! And now I can’t eat SHIT! Fuck gout! And fuck the pharma industry cause they make a killing off us taking all this bullshit pills that just gives a long enough break to realize how shit it is to have gout! Fuck me!

    • Joe

      Hey awesome site. Great comments I learned alot from y’all. I’m 37. Found out by doctors 10 yrs ago I been a chronic gout sufferer my entire life. When I was 20 Drs loved to say I had cellulitis attacks or other lame stuff I went undiagnosed for many years. Anyhow I’m not the typical sufferer.

      I’m apparently triggered by countless things I could talk about. But main things and the worst is just doing anything athletic. I read on here elevated heart rates cause attacks? I thought that was a myth but I’m seeing others have that happen? Of course the hot cold weather here in northern Cali triggers me and people don’t believe me where I live but obviously true I see here.

      I don’t drink or eat meat. Random foods seem to trigger or too much milk. Yet ice cream or chocolate candy I can gorge doesn’t bother me. I drink soda all the time, doesnt bother me. Basically I’ve tried to pinpoint by overdoing everything to find the trigger and then the moment I workout I’m flared wtf ?

      I can’t take allupurinol cause liver and kidney issues. Uloric always backfires with massive flares. I take colchicine constantly, indomethacin everyday. Yet flares gotten worst. 15 years was in my right foot only ankle area. Now in left foot toes 2nd for. Tophi bigtime in my 2nd toe. 6 months ago my left arm and elbow got it bad. Now my left hand been flared finally went away now its my right finger massive can barely type this. Boils down I have flares 24/7. If it’s not one place it’s somewhere new. My pharmacist told me about probenison yesterday. Any thoughts on that? Any other new meds I might be able to ask my Dr about?

      I’d love to know any current known possibilities or insight. I can’t seem to find much online to help me. This 24/7 gout is destroying me.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Joe!

        Thank you for sharing your story!

        Seems you have it rougher than others. At your level of gout, best to get the opinions of at least 2 different rheumatologists and take it from there. I’d also do a blood test and see which foods your body is sensitive to and doesn’t tolerate well. That can help you alter your diet accordingly.

        Good luck!

    • Tomas Miramonte

      Can tofu trigger a flare up ?

    • Stephanie McCloy

      My husband suffers from gout. He is triggered by red meat, but turkey and shrimp are the worst. He tried eating impossible meat for dinner tonight. We though a great alternative!!! WRONG with in 2 hours he couldn’t walk and is in horrible shape. Just FYI to gout suffers looking for meat alternatives.

    • Robert

      My worst gout attack came when I was a vegan! 90% of my attacks have come when I was consuming NONE of the triggers you mention. Nutritional yeast contains a ton of purines.I read that spirulina can also trigger gout. I found that a wonderful Ayurvedic herbal formula works very well with prevention.

      • Iva

        Hello Robert, can you tell us which Ayurvedic herbal formula you are referring to? Thank you.

    • Nelson

      Thanks everyone, first time sufferer so really appreciate the article and people’s experiences. Silly me I though I’d injured my toe and just kept walking on it thinking I’d walk it off. I don’t think icing it helped, gave temporary relief but pain came back more intense each time. Then and only then did I remember that Dad suffers gout. Doh! Don’t forget, like I did, to check your family’s medical history.

    • Mario

      I get tophi from gout, which is surgically removed. Allergic to allupurinol taking colchisandine daily and indocin for outbreaks. My gout is triggered by excessive citric acid or more than two alcoholic drinks. What else can I do to prevent buildup of tophi?

    • Elaine Washington

      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

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

      • Joanne Tolles

        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

      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

      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

      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.

      • Mario

        I too have sufferrd with gout for about 50 years. I am allergic to uloric and take daily colchicine and indocin during outbreaks. I get severe gout reactions to excessive citric acid

    • Brandy Drake

      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

        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

      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

        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

      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

        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

      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

        Hi Mark!

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

        • faozan rizal

          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

            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

      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

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

    • Deepak Rao

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

    • Amrit

      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

        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

          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

      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

        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

      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

      • Spiro Koulouris

        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

      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!!

    • […] Get to know your Gout Triggers […]

    • Vikki Krupp

      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

        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

      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

      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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