Gout, the underlying condition, is caused by excess uric acid in the body. Here's a list of things that can trigger a rise in uric acid, thus setting off a painful gout attack.

Medical or health triggers:
• Joint injury

• Surgery or sudden, severe illness

• Infection 

• Taking certain diuretic medications for high blood pressure, leg swelling (edema) or heart failure 

• Taking the drug cyclosporine 

• Starting a uric acid-lowering treatment 

• Chemotherapy

Lifestyle triggers:
• Crash diets and fasting

• Drinking too much alcohol 

• Eating large portions of certain foods high in purines (red meats or shellfish)

• Dehydration

• Drinking sweet sodas