June 13, 2010

In What Ways Are Diabetes And Gout Related?

It may sound strange but their is a cause and effect relationship that exists between gout and diabetes. To understand how this work, it is a good idea to firstly know how each illness works separately, then the connection between the two can become more apparent.

Gout is another type of arthritis marked by pain, inflammation, and swelling. It comes about when the kidneys can not eliminate the build up uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism or breakdown of purines, that if not properly eliminated from the body, results in the build up of uric acid, causing gout.

With elevated levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) come the formation of urate crystals that deposit and settle in the joints of the body, resulting in the pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with gout. Therefore, it is possible that having diabetes can be a cause for gout to develop.

How can diabetes have a role in this?

One of the side effects of diabetes is poor circulation. When your kidneys are not getting the nutrients and oxygen they need, they will function at a level well below their best. This reduces their efficiency at removing uric acid.

Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, marked by insufficient amount of insulin in the body. Insulin is produced and secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated levels of sugar in the blood.

Complications surrounding diabetes can be related to the circulatory system. This reduces the ability to eliminate uric acid and explains how this cause and effect relationship can exist.

This does not mean that if you have diabetes that you will develop gout, and vice versa. It is the proper management of both conditions that can prevent complications from developing.


Preventing diabetes involves managing your blood sugar levels, and taking insulin if it has been prescribed. Many tens of thousands of people successfully live with diabetes.

Avoiding future gout attacks:

After your first gout attack has resolved, there usually is no treatment. However, if your symptoms return, then your physician will prescribe prophylactic medications to prevent further attacks. These medications act to reduce blood uric acid levels in the blood, which will decrease the chances of another attack.

Exercise and diet:

If you suffer from gout, following a healthy lifestyle can help lower the risk of developing diabetes. Exercise regularly, avoid excessive weight gain and eat a diet full of good nutrition.

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