Have you ever asked yourself this question, maybe when going through the excruciating pain of a gout flare? You aren’t alone. Many patients living with gout ask this question – and rightfully so. Though gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis, the pain can be debilitating.
Common Risk Factors
While many different risk factors could increase a person’s risk for gout, a few common ones stand out:
- Kidney Disease
About 1 in 4 people with moderate-to-severe kidney disease also have gout. This is because people living with kidney disease have a harder time removing uric acid build-up in the blood.
- Heart Disease
More than half of gout patients are at a high risk for heart disease. Additionally, more than 70% of people with gout also have high blood pressure.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you are at a higher risk of getting gout. Having gout can also increase your chance of diabetes.
- Excess weight
Being overweight or obese can cause your kidneys to work less efficiently, making it harder to eliminate uric acid.
- Age and gender
While any adult can develop gout, men are more likely to have gout than women. After menopause, however, women’s risk rises.
Black Americans are two-to-three times more likely to develop gout than white Americans. Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders also face a higher risk of gout.
Gout can be genetic too. If you have a relative with gout, it could be passed on to you. It’s estimated that 20% of people with gout have a relative who also has the condition, and your risk is higher if it’s a first-degree relative. That’s why it’s so important to know your family history and share it with your health care provider.
Even without any of these risk factors, it’s still possible to have gout. If you are experiencing gout symptoms, make sure you visit your health care provider.
The good news? No matter what your “why” is, you can manage your gout. Visit your doctor, watch Dr. Parker and Gary Ho discuss this question in a recent Facebook Live, and find a supportive community to get started.