Q: I have read that if you're fasting, gout can result. Is this true? If so, what is the gout-fast connection? 

A: Yes, fasting can cause gout – if fasting causes you to become dehydrated, which raises the level of uric acid in your blood. In fact, high blood levels of uric acid are the single most important factor in determining the risk of a gout attack. A form of arthritis that primarily affects middle aged men, gout is associated with obesity, heavy alcohol intake, hypertension, decreased kidney function and diuretic use. 

Acute gout is caused by uric acid crystals in the joint, which trigger inflammation and cause severe pain and swelling of the joint. If this condition is not treated effectively, inflammation can smolder in a number of joints and eventually cause joint damage.

Bernard Rubin, DO, Rheumatologist