You would think science is science, and that this would have been answered by now in a very black or white kind of a way . . . right? Wrong! There are massive disagreements and debates within the scientific community about whether genes are at the root of what causes gout. When you ask “Is Gout Hereditary”, or “Is Gout Genetic”, be prepared for a fascinating story with a surprise ending.
Is Gout Hereditary – Nature vs Nurture
The debate about whether or not gout is hereditary is a classic case of the age-old inquiry into “Nature vs Nuture”. This debate has been traced all the way back to 13th century France where the terms “Nature” and “Nurture” were first used to define whether or not a particular physical characteristic was biologically inherited, or socially inherited. We’ve been trying to answer this question for a LONG time.
For example, if your mother and father had gout, and all 4 of your biological grandparents had gout, chances are you have biologically inherited some the genes that predispose you to gout, i.e. . . . Nature.
On the other hand, if none of your parents or grandparents had gout, and you tend to grab a couple of beers at the end of a long day (or at the end of every day!) and your father did the exact same thing, chances are you have socially inherited some habits that predispose you to gout, i.e. . . . Nurture.
So how does this answer the question “Is Gout Hereditary?” or “Is Gout Genetic”? Despite the debate, researchers do agree on two things:
- Biological inheritance (Nature) is only a small contributing factor to what causes gout
- Environmental inheritance (Nurture) is a large contributing factor at the top of the list of gout causes
Is Gout Genetic?
To answer the question “Is gout genetic”, an article called New Insights into the Epidemiology of Gout, published in the Oxford Journals, explains that genetic disorders in the way that purines are metabolized (leading to the over-production of uric acid) are extremely RARE. And focusing on a low-purine diet cannot be your exclusive goal in how to control gout.
On the other hand, there have been many recent studies looking for genetic causes of gout with regard to the way uric acid is excreted through the kidneys. Taken from an article called Epidemiology of Gout, below is a list of the genes that have been discovered and determined to play some part in the development of gout, which helps to answer the question, Is Gout Genetic.
- The SLC22A12 gene: This is an important gene that controls how much uric acid gets “reabsorbed” by the kidneys, which leads to higher levels of uric acid in the blood, which is at the root of what causes gout.
- The SLC2A9 (GLUT9) gene: Problems with this kidney gene can lead to as much as a 5% variation in blood uric acid levels, which would play a minor role in gout.
- The ABCG2 gene, the SLC17A3 gene, and the SLC17A1 gene: Problems with these kidney genes can only lead to as much as a 1% variation in blood uric acid levels, which would play an even smaller role in answering “Is Gout Genetic?”.
- The ADRB3 gene is jointly involved in the development of metabolic syndrome and hyperuricemia (too much uric acid in the blood, hence gout).
- The MTHFR gene is involved in how purines are synthesized, which affects uric acid levels and gout causes.
- Uromodulin, renin, the aldolase B (ALDOB) gene and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosylpyrophosphate (HPRT) are individual genes that, when mutated, do cause hyperuricemia, which leads to gout. However it is noted that these single gene mutations are very rare, and are of little consequence when answering the question “Is Gout Genetic”.
The study of human genetics is still a very young field of science and is yet inconclusive when it comes to answering the question “Is Gout Hereditary?”. In all of the studies mentioned above, the scientists do seem to agree that what causes gout is the result of the COMBINATION of BOTH of the following:
- Genetic mutations that predispose a person to hyperuricemia
- Lifestyle Choices that aggravate and stimulate this potential for gout
This is what is important to comprehend: It doesn’t matter whether or not you have the genetics for gout. If you are making the right lifestyle choices, any gout-genes you may have inherited from your parents will just lay there dormant, and you won’t be having gout attacks. So . . . is gout genetic? Only if you make it so.
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I am so happy to have you as my personal gout coach. I really needed the support. Life is hard enough as is, and when you add gout on top of that it can get too damn overwhelming. It is hard enough to do it alone, but knowing I have you on my side gives me a great sigh of relief and more confidence that I can finally succeed. ~ Roland
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A Look at Epigenetics
The most recent cutting edge science now shows that biological genetics – DNA – can surprisingly be altered by our own thoughts processes. According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, world-renowned research geneticist, our DNA is not cast in stone at the moment of birth. Rather, the DNA inside each and every one of the cells is influenced by “the environment” of each cell.
According to Dr. Lipton, the “environment” surrounding each cell is made up not only of what we eat and drink (physical substances) but also of “biochemical messages” that start with the thoughts and beliefs we hold in our minds. These messages then get transformed into biochemical compounds which are carried to every cell in our body via the blood. These biochemical messages are capable of changing the DNA inside our cells. As such, our mind is one of the main causes of gout.
So, in answering the question “Is Gout Hereditary?” or “Is Gout Genetic?”, Dr. Lipton would probably say: “Only if you believe it is.”
Social and Environmental Influences
The best example of “is gout hereditary?” is the story of Sandra Steingraber. In her book “Living Downstream”, Sandra tells her unusual life story. In her early 20’s she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The many doctors she saw had her fill out long medical history questionnaires, which confirmed that she had a family history of cancer. Yet they forgot to gather one important fact: Sandra was adopted.
Later, as a professional ecologist, Sandra dug deep into the research and found that family disease patterns have a higher correlation to adoptive families, than to a biological families. What this means for those of us with gout is this: Among these two potential gout causes, it is far more likely that your gout was socially and environmentally inherited, than biologically inherited.
Is MY Gout Socially or Environmentally Inherited?
It is now time for you to dig deep and find your own answer to the question “Is Gout Hereditary?” or “is Gout Genetic?” Take a close look at your family health habits, to the environment you were raised in, and the habits and environment you now live with.
- Do you crave the same comfort foods that your siblings and parents do?
- Do you use the same laundry soap that your parents did?
- Do you manage (or mismanage) your stress in the same ways your parents did?
- Did your parents teach you to avoid breathing air pollution?
- Did your parents role-model to you what regular exercise looks like?
- Did your parents show you what it looks like to drink adequate amounts of water every day?
These are but a few examples of the kind of environmental and social heredity we all deal with that plays a HUGE role in what causes gout. The notion that “the environment” is what we see “out there” is false. Everything we see “out there” is also “in here”. Our bodies are FILLED with the same toxins that are found in our air, food, water and household cleaners.
Another HUGE factor affecting “Is Gout Hereditary?” is the “monkey see, monkey do” syndrome. Childhood developmental specialists tell us that 95% of our beliefs and habits were formed before we turned 6 years old. If we do not deeply question our health habits, they will be nothing more than a continuation of what we saw our parents do.
Is Gout Hereditary or Is Gout Genetic – The Bottom Line
So, the REAL answer to the question “Is Gout Hereditary?” is: It doesn’t matter! First, if we did inherit some gout genes from our parents, these do not RESULT in gout . . . only the potential for gout. And secondly, if we did inherit some of these genetic gout causes from our parents, we have the potential to change that DNA with the power of our minds.
I feel like I am living proof of this. I do have a family history of gout. My dad, grandmothers and uncles all had gout, and at age 38 I got my first gout attack. Then, after 13 years of living in gout hell, I got really fed up and DECIDED that I was NO LONGER going to have gout. This decision was based purely on the Power of Intention. I had no idea HOW I was going to get rid of my gout, and I had never heard of Bruce Lipton and the fact that we can change our own genetics. But, as I said, I got fed up and just made a firm decision.
After that, it wasn’t long before I had found the way OUT of gout-hell. After years of trial and error, experimenting with every natural gout treatment out there, I discovered “The Way”. Now, it’s been almost 5 years since my last gout attack, and I am prepared – mentally and physically – to never get another gout attack.
If you’re fed up with gout, like I was, and want to learn how to live gout-free, like I now do . . . I invite you to check out the book I wrote called Kill Your Gout NOW! In this book I give you a “recipe” using common grocery items that will GET RID of gout pain in 2-4 hours. From there, I show you my proven path for how to make sure you NEVER get another gout attack, ever.
+ So again, if you are wondering “Is Gout Hereditary?” or “Is Gout Genetic?” my answer is this…only if you let it be!
1) Michael D “New insights into the epidemiology of gout” Rheumatology (2009) 48 (suppl 2): ii2-ii8
2) Lennane GA, Rose BS, Isdale IC. Gout in the Maori. Ann Rheum Dis 1960;19:120-5
3) Hochberg MC, Thomas J, Thomas DJ, Mead L, Levine DM, Klag MJ. Racial differences in the incidence of gout. The role of hypertension. Arthritis Rheum. 1995;38:628-632
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