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Myth 1: Gout is caused by overindulgence

Truth: Although being overweight increases your risk of getting gout, the disease can affect anyone1. While drinking alcohol and/or having a diet high in purines (e.g. red meat, seafood and organ meat) can play a role, so does your genetics, i.e., if you have a family history of gout1,2.

Myth 2: Women don’t get gout

Truth: Gout is more common in men than women, because males can have three times higher uric acid levels than females1. The female hormone oestrogen is said to play a role in protecting premenopausal women against gout3. But after menopause, when women lose oestrogen, uric acid levels in their blood start to rise, putting them at higher risk of developing gout3. Unlike men, however, women are more likely to develop gout in multiple joints slowly, over time3.

Myth 3: Gout affects only the big toe

Truth: If you have gout, you’ll be all too familiar with the feeling of sudden, burning pain in your big toe. This is known as podagra, and accounts for ± 50 % of acute gout attacks4. But the reality is that other joints can also be affected by gout, including wrists, fingers, elbows, knees, and ankles4.

Myth 4: Healthy eating alone can prevent gout

Truth: The common belief that eating and drinking too much is the sole cause of gout has been challenged by research that indicates your propensity to develop the disease has more to do with genetics3,5. Although it’s true that a low-purinediet can help lower the levels of uric acid that build up in your joints, this alone is seldom enough to prevent gout3. Your healthcare provider will prescribe medication, as a combination of meds and diet is what works best to treat your gout1.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. Staff overview. Gout. Available at
  2. Arthritis Ireland. Staff overview. Available at
  3. Arthritis Foundation. Staff overview. Are women at risk for gout? Available at
  4. Mayo Clinic. Staff overview. Gout. Symptoms & causes. Available at 
  5. Major, T.J., et al. Evaluation of the diet wide contribution to serum urate levels: meta-analysis of population based cohorts. BMJ. 363(k3951), (2018).