Diabetes and gout can be a health struggle for many people. Even though both medical conditions are distinct, they have interesting connections. This article explores what links the two health problems, their potential adverse effects on the body, and effective gout-diabetes treatment. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Gout?
A form of inflammatory arthritis, gout causes sudden, severe pain and swelling in the joints. Typically, inflammation occurs at only one joint at a time, most commonly the big toe or ankle. It also impacts various joints in fingers, knees, elbows, and shoulders. Gout affects men over 40 who have had high uric acid levels for some time, although older women can get it too.
Gout is caused by excessive uric acid, a waste product produced by your body’s kidneys, in the blood. This can be triggered by eating large amounts of foods and drinks that are high in purines, such as:
- red meat – beef, lamb, pork
- game meats – venison, elk, and caribou
- organ meats- liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads
- seafood, especially sardines and anchovies
- alcoholic beverages
Apart from foods high in purines, medications used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure can also elevate uric acid levels. Typically these uric acid crystals dissolve in your blood before they reach your joints. But if uric acid levels are high, they will form needle-like deposits that collect in joints and surrounding tissues.
The Link Between Gout and Diabetes
There is evidence that insulin resistance contributes significantly to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hyperuricemia. This means that there is an increased risk of developing gout if you have type 2 diabetes or vice versa. Research has also shown that elevated uric acid levels may increase mortality and morbidity among diabetic patients.
In fact, people with diabetes who don’t have a family history of gout are still at an increased risk for developing the disease compared to people who don’t have diabetes. Additionally, both disorders share a common risk factor for obesity, which is related to higher uric acid levels and problems in metabolism, and high blood pressure.
Due to excess fat, many people with diabetes are at a higher risk of suffering from hyperuricemia- a condition where high uric acid levels stay in your body. As a result of hyperuricemia, uric acid crystals can form within joints and cause gout. Over time, it can accumulate inside the kidneys leading to kidney stones and kidney failure.
Inflammation is another link between sugar and gout. The kidneys help keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range. When they are damaged due to inflammation or improper gout management, the organs work less efficiently, which increases your risk of diabetes complications.
Does Sugar Cause Gout?
When it comes to sugar and gout, one type of sugar has a strong link with uric acid production. This sugar is fructose – the main ingredient in fruits, honey, and high fructose corn syrup. People with gout have higher levels of fructose in their blood than people without gout.
The digestion of fructose causes the release of purines. In the process of breaking down these chemical compounds, there’s also a production of uric acid. Thus, you should limit the amount of food and drinks high in fructose to reduce gout flare-ups. This includes:
- Fruit juices, both natural and artificial
- Canned and dried fruits
- Honey and agave that contains added sugars
- Processed foods with high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient
The Best Ways To Prevent and Treat Gout in Diabetics
Both diseases can cause kidney damage, which is why it is advisable to seek comprehensive treatment. Keep in mind that they can be managed but are not curable. So, patients should work closely with their health care team to treat both conditions effectively and avoid the many serious complications associated with the two conditions. Part of gout & diabetes treatment and prevention are as follows:
- Regular Screenings
- Weight Management
- Healthy Diet
- Lifestyle Modifications
- Be Active!
- Hydrate Regularly
1. Regular Screenings
Have regular check-ups to screen for both conditions. Part of the screening would be to check for your insulin levels, high blood pressure, and if you have ongoing symptoms for both. To reduce the risk of gout, people with diabetes should keep their uric acid levels below 6 mg/dL. As for blood sugar levels, normal A1C levels are at 5.7% below.
Physical exams like foot exams are also crucial for people with diabetes and gout. Your physician will check for signs of inflammation and nerve damage during these exams. He’ll also look for calluses, cuts, or other injuries and infections that could lead to complications.
2. Weight Management
Type 2 diabetes and gout share common risk factors, like obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Hypertension increases the risk of kidney disease, which may lead to bad flare-ups as well as high rates of morbidity due to diabetes. Less body fat= lower uric acid levels. This is the reason why staying at a healthy weight is so crucial. Fasting and crash diets are not recommended. Losing weight too quickly can raise your uric acid level.
3. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet helps prevent both conditions by keeping blood glucose levels stable, reducing uric acid levels, and maintaining good kidney function to help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Gout and diabetes diet plan includes:
- Eat more fiber-rich foods. Fiber may help prevent diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Choosing more plant-based foods instead of animal products may help prevent gout attacks.
- Avoid foods high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats and high-fat dairy products.
- Don’t consume or consume fewer trans fats, which are found in fried foods, baked goods, and margarine.
- Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. If you want to eat fruits, choose those with low-sugar content, like avocados, apples, and pears. Cherry is also good for those with gout.
4. Lifestyle Modifications
High intake of alcohol (especially beer) and regular smoking increase uric acid levels in your blood and contribute to other risk factors for gout, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Quit both habits as soon as you can.
5. Be Active!
You should also exercise regularly. It will be much easier to prevent gout and diabetes if you do at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Exercise can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with gout attacks.
It also helps improve cardiovascular health, which may decrease your chances of developing heart disease or stroke, leading to diabetes. And if you already have diabetes, exercise can help control blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
6. Hydrate Regularly
Be sure to keep hydrated as well, as it will help flush uric acid out of your kidneys. Drink plenty of fluids every day (at least eight glasses). The best choice would be water because fruit juices are high in purines, which may lead to a gout flare-up. .
Medications are also available to help control gout, diabetes, and other conditions with connections to both. Some of the drugs they may include would be:
Diabetes drugs include metformin, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, and troglitazone. These oral medications help control blood sugar levels.
-Pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
-Anti- gout drugs. Antigout drugs include allopurinol, febuxostat, probenecid, and sulfinpyrazone. These drugs reduce uric acid levels in your blood.
**Don’t take medicines unless prescribed by a doctor and follow directions carefully.
Make Preventative Care a Priority!
Gout and diabetes are a dangerous combination. The best way to avoid these illnesses is to stay on top of your preventative care. You must schedule regular screenings if you are at risk of these chronic conditions.
For any concerns about weight loss and diabetes management , don’t hesitate to consult with PHWC. Feel free to call us at 441-292-5111 or book a consultation online. Take back control of your health!, don’t hesitate to consult with PHWC. Feel free to call us at 441-292-5111 or book a consultation online. Take back control of your health!