Arthritis Home > Gout and Uric Acid
The primary cause of gout is an excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down a substance called purine. Thus, foods high in purine should be avoided by a person who has gout because they are known to increase the chances of an attack occurring. Other risk factors include being overweight, having certain medical conditions, and taking certain medications.
However, just because a person has high uric acid levels, this does not mean he or she will develop gout. It is when levels become so concentrated that urate crystals form in the joints, causing pain and inflammation, that gout occurs.
(Click Causes of Gout to learn more about how this condition develops, additional risk factors, and the role uric acid plays in gout formation.)