Does Gout Increase Your Risk of Developing Cancer?
Gout is more than just a painful type of arthritis. It’s also a sign of deeper problems like diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart failure and even cancer. If you have gout, make sure to get diagnosed for diseases you’re most likely at risk for. That way, you’re able to make better health decisions that’s will not just benefit your gout symptoms but your overall health as well.
Here are more facts to help you understand how serious gout really is:
- Compared with individuals who do not have gout:
- Women and men with gout, respectively, had a nearly 4 times and 1.9 times increased risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.
- 4 times and 3.2 times increased risk of hypertension
- 7 times and 2.8 times increased risk of chronic heart failure
- 0 times and 2.4 times increased risk of chronic kidney disease (Renal & Urology News)
- Gout is associated with a 32% and 13% increased risk of malignancies in women and men, respectively. (Renal & Urology News)
- Women and men with gout were 8.9 times and 4.4 times more likely to be alcohol abusers compared with individuals who did not have gout. (Renal & Urology News)
- Gout is part of the five common chronic diseases associated with one fifth of new cancer cases and more than a third of all cancer deaths. These markers shortened lifespan by 13.3 years in men and 15.9 years in women. (Medscape)
- Gout is associated with increased risk of cancer, particularly cancer in males. Other conditions strongly associated with gout include liver, lung, and colonic cancers. (PubMed)
Sounds scary doesn’t it? The good news is that you can still mitigate these risks. Uric acid is a marker for gouty arthritis; the higher your uric acid is, the worse your gout symptoms will be. And the worse your gout symptoms get, the more at risk you are for the deadly diseases mentioned above! So, the goal is to lower uric acid levels and avoid habits that lead to serious health consequences.
8 Steps That You Can Take To Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Here are steps you should take to ensure you live a long healthy life, even with gout:
- Physical activity
It’s cheap, effective, and safe for preventing risks of gout symptoms and other chronic and cancerous diseases. Studies have shown that exercise is associated with 40% reduction in cancer risk associated with chronic diseases like gout. Try the 7 minute workout if you don’t have time to exercise. Those 7 minutes can do wonders for your health!
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
In addition to exercise, you should also avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. Smoking, in general, is bad for your health, while alcohol is terrible for gout. One study found that gout patients were at an increased risk of cancer particularly lung cancer, digestive system cancers, and urological cancers. If you have gout and you still smoke and drink, better kick the habit soon so you can live longer.
- Drink enough water
Water may help dilute the uric acid and assist the kidneys in flushing it out. Make sure to drink at least 12 1-ounce glasses of water every day.
- Limit foods rich in purines
Avoid purine-rich foods as much as possible. Purines break down into uric acid in the body and then passes through your kidneys to your urine. If the body produces too much uric acid or the kidney can’t flush out enough, that’s when gout occurs.
These are the top foods high in purines:
- All organ meats including liver, meat extracts, seafood and gravy
- Beer and alcoholic beverages
- Red meat, pork, lamb and chicken
- Any food or beverage with high fructose corn syrup and some medications may also aggravate uric acid levels
Take note, some of these foods are actually very healthy but because they are so high in purines, it’s recommended that you limit your consumption of them to prevent your uric acid levels from rising.
- Avoid sugary drinks and processed foods
Some sugary beverages are also culprit to gout attacks. This includes fruit-flavored drinks, soda and processed food. Not only is it bad for your gout, but it also increases your risk for developing diseases like diabetes and kidney disease.
Food manufacturers are very good at hiding the bad stuff they put in their packaged foods. You never know whether it’s real juice concentrate unless you read the label. It’s important to check the ingredient list. If it’s artificial sugar like aspartame, sucralose, or xylitol, don’t buy it. It will only make your gout worse. If you have a sweet tooth, you can learn to curb your cravings using natural sweet food and sweeteners like fruits, honey, date sugar, maple syrup, and agave nectar.
- Eat “yes” foods in moderation
These are the foods you can eat that are low in purine:
- 100% whole wheat breads, pasta, rice
- Low fat milk products, eggs, greek yogurt
- Lettuce, broccoli, green veggies
- Beans and lentils
- Natural peanut butter, fruits, and nuts
Eat these foods in moderation. For example, just because pasta is low in purines, it doesn’t mean you should wolf down a huge bowl of spaghetti for breakfast. Again, moderation is key. You still want to maintain a healthy weight to prevent your gout symptoms from worsening and other chronic conditions from developing.
- Watch your medication
Some gout medications can cause health complications that later lead to cancer. This is especially true for women. One study found that women taking certain short and long-term gout medications were significantly at higher risk for cancer. However, no association was observed in the male group. Even then, it’s still better to be on the safe side. Gout after all, affects mostly men than it does women.
So, whether you’re male or female, make sure to inform your doctor of any pre-existing conditions you may have so that they can properly prescribe you with the right uric acid lowering drug.
- Take some vitamin C
Natural sources of vitamin C include oranges, green peppers, strawberries, guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi, and papaya. You can also take vitamin C in supplement form; aim for at least 500mg per day. Vitamin C has been found to maybe help lower uric acid levels and may kill cancer cells.
The big C is no joke. If you suffer from gout, don’t wait for it to get worse. Make these changes today and your body will thank you later.
Do you have pre-existing conditions that come with your gout? What steps are you taking to lessen your risk for complications? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Posted by Spiro Koulouris