Gout triggers get discussed every week in the gout forum. I wish they would go away. Because they are dangerous.
I want to get rid of gout triggers. I want everyone to stop talking about them. Instead of thinking about gout triggers, I want you to focus on stopping gout attacks permanently. You won’t do this if you focus on gout triggers.
Gout triggers are dangerous because they are misleading. They might also be bad for your health, but the biggest danger is confusion.
What Are Gout Triggers?
To avoid confusion, you must learn one thing.
There is only one gout trigger. The trigger for a gout attack is our immune system reacting to uric acid crystals.
There might be many reasons for that reaction, but the reaction is the thing that triggers a gout attack. Now that you know that, please let me explain why it is dangerous to be confused.
Dangers Of Gout Triggers
The first danger is lack of focus. The only way to control gout is to control uric acid. You might successfully block the pain for a while, but if uric acid is not lowered to safe levels, it will continue to grow crystals in your body. Every day that passes with excess uric acid is another day when crystals grow. Some days they cause attacks and other days they do not. I’ll discuss some of the reasons why this varies. But first, you need to forget triggers. Triggers are not important. Uric acid crystals growing in your body are important. They make gout worse, so gout attacks become more intense, more frequent, and more widespread. Worse than that, they spread from joints to other tissues, risking serious organ damage. Your heart, kidneys, and all other organs are at risk when uric acid crystals are growing in your body.
The second danger of gout triggers is misunderstanding. You now know that the only true trigger is the immune reaction to uric acid crystals. But uric acid crystals become exposed to your immune system in two ways. One is good, the other bad. If you think about triggering a gout attack instead of thinking about managing your uric acid level, you can easily mistake good situations for bad ones.
A reaction to uric acid crystals is bad if your uric acid level is high and new crystals are forming. But a reaction to uric acid crystals is good if your uric acid level is safe, and uric acid crystals are dissolving. So, if you are not aware of your uric acid level, you cannot tell whether the reaction is good or bad. This is dangerous, as it will lead you to avoid things that help your gout. Also, it will lead you to accept things that are bad for your gout.
In summary, there is a myth that gout triggers cause gout. They do not, but they might cause a gout attack. In fact, this leads to many gout myths about certain things being gout triggers. People, including many health professionals, then become confused about what gout really is. I use gout myths to help explain what gout is by explaining what it is not. You can read more gout myths in my What Is Gout? guidelines.
Causes Of Gout Attacks
Hopefully, this is the last time I mention gout triggers, and we can now think about causes of gout attacks.
There are many factors that affect why gout attacks happen. If you try to blame them on a specific food, or a particular aspect of lifestyle, you will probably make the wrong judgment.
I have already mentioned excess uric acid and safe uric acid. Excess uric acid will always cause crystals to form, but these do not always cause a gout attack. A gout attack is an extreme form of immune reaction. When white blood cells get overwhelmed. They signal for reinforcements, and those signals cause the intense painful inflammation we know and hate. If there are few crystals, white blood cells in circulation will simply engulf them, and you probably will not notice. That begs the question, how many uric acid crystals does it take to start a gout attack?
The answer is unknown, and it changes from day to day.
The number of crystals present will vary according to fluctuations in uric acid concentration, temperature, pH value, and other factors. Our immune system will vary according to general health, stress, tiredness, and other factors. The combinations are endless, and you will never be able to manage these complications.
Keep it simple.
Control uric acid levels. Stay generally healthy, paying special attention to avoiding cold and dehydration when you are at risk. That way, you can control gout, instead of wasting time on foods and other factors that are never important.
You can read more about causes of gout in the Gout Symptoms guidelines and in the Uric Acid reference section. If you are still worried about gout triggers and do not know what you should actually worry about, please ask in the gout support forum. If you have any problems using the gout forum, please click the orange Gout Support button. You can also use the feedback form below to share your questions, experiences, or opinions about gout triggers.
Leave Dangers Of Gout Triggers to browse the Gout Symptoms guidelines.