Anyone can get gout, but it’s more common in men and older people.
If you’ve found this little corner of the internet, then you’re wondering why you have gout at such a young age.
Having gout in your 20s or 30s is pretty early (and alarming!).
But don’t worry–it can be cured with simple lifestyle changes.
Read on to learn how you can get rid of your gout and prevent it from returning.
What is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the joints due to excess uric acid, usually in the big toe.
The human body makes uric acid by breaking down chemicals called purines which are found in certain food and drinks.
This normal byproduct goes through the kidneys and exits the body when you pee. But sometimes the body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys don’t do a good job of handling it.
When the body has high levels of uric acid, crystals can concentrate in the joints. These sharp, needle-like crystals cause gout.
What Causes Early-Onset Gout?
You are also more likely to develop gout at a young age if you:
Consume a diet high in animal proteins (red meat)
Consume a significant amount of alcohol
Have a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, and overweight.
Health Risks of Gout in Young Adults
One of the biggest misconceptions about gout is that it only affects the joints.
It causes a variety of health problems throughout your body, including your heart and blood vessels.
Gout can increase the risk of:
- Cardiovascular Disease: A 2019 study found patients diagnosed with gout at age 40 or younger have an increased risk for heart disease and recurrent gout.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis: Another study shows that gout increases the risk of developing DVT by 50%.
- Blood Clots: Gout patients of all ages have a 25% greater risk of developing blood clots, but the risk is 79% higher in gout patients ages 50 and under.
Gout isn’t just a pain in your foot, it’s an inflammatory disease. And inflammation is a major contributor to any type of cardiovascular health issue.
How to Cure and Prevent Gout
If you’ve developed gout in your 20s or 30s, you need to focus on reducing uric acid levels and other sources of inflammation.
You can keep gout at bay by:
eating foods rich in Vitamin C (like bananas)
limiting your seafood and red meat intake
In the end, gout can be managed with lifestyle modifications and doctor-prescribed medications.
Early-onset gout is a wake-up call from your body to get back into shape. While it may feel like you’ve hit health rock bottom, consider this an opportunity to set things right.