Does Having Gout Increase My Chances Of Developing Diabetes?

Many of the people who suffer from gout also suffer from diabetes or eventually will. Both diseases have been with us for thousands of years. Having one condition elevates the risk of developing the other.

Gout is a type of arthritis that develops when uric acid crystals build in your joints as a normal result of your metabolism. Diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by elevated blood sugar levels.

Despite their differences, gout and type 2 diabetes have some risk factors in common. Some of these risk factors include being overweight, sedentary, and eating a lot of red meat.

The possibility of a connection was affirmed in the late 18th century but again it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come to this conclusion. This is obviously due to the fact that gout is linked with obesity, hypertension, and little exercise or high blood pressure.

Obesity, hypertension, a lack of physical activity, and high blood pressure are all linked to diabetes, a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. Diabetes and gout are both metabolic diseases. If you have both diseases or just one, there’s a good possibility they were passed down via genetic makeup.

The most plausible reason, on the other hand, is that you picked up your parents’ unhealthy eating habits on your own. Just like them, you finally developed gout and/or diabetes. Finally, simply by watching your mother and/or father, they instilled those bad eating habits in you and allowed it to happen to you.

Furthermore, both disorders are linked to a lack of blood flow throughout the body, particularly in the limbs. Insulin resistance is a major factor in the development of gout in diabetics. Remember that in some advanced cases of diabetes, gangrene occurs in the foot making amputation necessary.

Unfortunately, both diseases can kill you and reduce your quality of life. However, poor circulation is the most likely reason why the risk of gout is relatively high in diabetics.

Poor blood circulation means you may experience higher uric acid levels. This makes the kidneys work slowly and inefficiently in excreting it through your urine. In addition, your blood may be overly acidic, and your pH levels are off-balance.

 

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Evidence of gout and diabetes

Gout, a painful form of inflammatory arthritis, affects about 9 million Americans, and one in every four people with gout also has type 2 diabetes, according to specialists. Gout is a powerful, self-contained risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Medical professionals have stated that having gout virtually doubles your chances of developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a primary risk factor for global disease burden, according to a report by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. It is anticipated that 387 million individuals had diabetes in 2014, and that figure will climb to 592 million by 2035.

Diabetes prevalence has risen considerably in underdeveloped countries and is rapidly nearing that of developed countries. As a result, it’s critical for patients to understand the link between the two disorders and to remain watchful. Gout management can help you prevent getting type 2 diabetes and the many significant problems that come with this type of arthritis.

A gouty history not only increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to develop gout. According to new research, you have a 20% higher probability of having diabetes. If you have high levels of uric acid in your blood, you have a 40% greater chance of getting kidney disease. 

Dr. Eswar Krishnan, an assistant professor of rheumatology at Stanford University, studied 2000 men with gout from a Veterans Administration database over the course of three years. He noted that none of these men had been diagnosed with diabetes or kidney disease at the start of the study.

What they found was that 9% of men with gout who had high levels of uric acid developed diabetes compared to 6% of men whose uric acid levels were in the normal range. Those veterans who had high uric acid levels had a 19% increased risk of developing diabetes.

Another study conducted by the famous gout researcher H.K. Choi and also included Dr. Eswar Krishnan evaluated men with a high cardiovascular risk profile who had gout and the future risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

They concluded that those men with gout and a high cardiovascular profile had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It also highlighted the importance of maintaining an aggressive healthy lifestyle of a proper diet and exercise.

Diabetes is usually divided into Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 consists of about 10-15% of all diabetics and is associated more with genetic inheritance. Type 2 consists of about 85-90% of all diabetics and this is primarily caused by the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin that your body requires but Type 2 diabetes may be maintained with a healthy diet and exercise.

Insulin is required to convert glucose/sugar from the food you eat into energy. However, diabetics produce no insulin or produce very little causing the glucose/sugar levels to stay in your bloodstream.

The gout-diabetes connection has been proven

The prevalence of gout was linked to the development of type 2 diabetes later in life. A population-based study discovered that this association was particularly robust for women.

The current study is the first to show an independent link between gout and the risk of type 2 diabetes in the general population. It also contributes to closing the information gap about women’s relationships.

The clinical implication is that you should be more cautious in diagnosing and controlling diabetes risk factors in gout patients, particularly women.

This is significant since gout is considered to be, at least in part, a lifestyle illness. This is why doctors aim to encourage patients to adopt good lifestyle habits that will help them avoid uric acid increase.

The association between gout and diabetes could be explained in a variety of ways. One is that both illnesses have pathogenic components in common, most of which are linked to metabolic syndrome. Another possibility is that uric acid levels or other gout symptoms like inflammation play a role.

Furthermore, the association between hyperuricemia and the risk of type 2 diabetes could be rooted in the kidneys. Insulin resistance and high insulin levels have been shown to decrease urate excretion in the kidneys.

They speculated that differences in uric acid metabolism between men and women could explain why the link was stronger in women. Women may also be more affected by high uric acid’s physiologic consequences.

Gout and Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

There are several factors that can raise your risk of developing gout, type 2 diabetes, or both. They are as follows:

  1. Obesity and/or overweight: Excess weight increases the chances of getting these conditions. Even a somewhat overweight gout patient with a lot of belly fat may be more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a more pear-shaped body. Belly fat is unhealthy because it can surround vital organs, increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, and some types of cancer.
  2. Having high blood pressure: This is yet another ailment that is frequently linked to gout and diabetes. Over 70% of persons with gout also have high blood pressure, according to renowned medical schools like John Hopkins Medicine.Gout experts are interested in the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which was intended to control blood pressure. Some studies show that it may help lower uric acid levels modestly.
  3. Dysfunction of the kidneys: Kidneys that don’t perform efficiently to filter away waste are known as renal insufficiency, and it can cause gout and diabetes. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in your kidneys as a result of elevated blood sugar levels. When you have gout, excess uric acid in your blood can build up in your kidneys and create urate crystals, causing damage and scarring.However, there’s a catch: both disorders can cause kidney damage. Doctors believe renal insufficiency is the direct damage that both illnesses might cause, but hypertension and obesity tend to persist more independently of the diagnoses.
  4. It’s the family tradition you never wanted: Gout and diabetes are both known to run in families. If one of your parents or siblings has the disease, you have a higher chance of developing it as well.
  5. Age and gender: Both gout and diabetes are more common in people in their forties and fifties. Gout is more common in men than in women. Women typically develop gout after menopause. According to a study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, female gout patients are more likely to develop diabetes, as are older men and women with gout as the risk increases with age.
  6. Unhealthy living habits: Maintaining an active lifestyle is critical for avoiding weight gain, which can raise the risk of acquiring gout or diabetes. Too much alcohol and/or sugary drinks, which raise blood sugar levels in the body, can increase your risk of both illnesses.

Here is what you can do to lessen your risk of developing diabetes as a gout sufferer:

  • If you are obese or overweight, make sure to lose weight by going back to your ideal weight. Pay attention to your BMI index and monitor your weight often.
  • Exercise regularly, this will obviously help control your weight, may help improve your glucose intolerance with type 2 diabetes. It may also assist to lower your blood pressure, which may maintain healthy uric acid levels, preventing future gout attack!
  • Avoid alcohol since uric acid levels always rise when having a beer, spirit, or wine. Avoiding alcohol can also potentially lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. People who drink often, especially beer drinkers are also usually more obese.
  • Eating a healthier diet, a diet consisting of 80% carbohydrates (food as grown from the earth), 10% protein, and 10% fat is key to helping support healthy uric acid levels. It can also decrease your risk of becoming a diabetic.
  • Limit sugar and avoid high-fructose corn syrup beverages and foods that may help avoid a gout attack and developing diabetes.
  • Drink plenty of water, as a gout sufferer try and drink at least 12 glasses of water a day.

The relevance of insulin resistance

In addition to producing inflammation, elevated uric acid levels have been linked to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when your body does not respond to insulin properly, resulting in an excess of sugar in your system. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance can occasionally be reversed with physical activity, a healthy weight, and a well-balanced diet. Insulin resistance, on the other hand, can progress to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if left untreated.

Treatments for the symptoms of gout and diabetes

The severity of gout varies greatly from one person to the next. Pain and inflammation can sometimes be relieved by over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines such ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

Anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids may be prescribed by your doctor for moderate or severe pain. Your treatment will most likely consist of an injection or a medication that will assist to relieve joint pain.

If your gout symptoms come and go, there are a variety of prescription drugs that can help inhibit the creation of uric acid. These can aid in the removal of uric acid from your body by your kidneys.

Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a well-balanced diet can help you avoid gout if you have diabetes. Your kidneys can operate properly and remove excess uric acid from your body through urination if you maintain a healthy weight. It is also beneficial to your kidneys to drink enough water.

Also, bear in mind that certain drugs and supplements can raise your uric acid levels. These are some of them:

  • certain kinds of diuretics
  • vitamin A and niacin in large doses
  • Aspirin

When should you seek medical help?

Some long-term gout patients have a solid track record of controlling their symptoms (congrats!). Their doctor visits are usually more of a routine check-up than an emergency.

However, your symptoms may begin to give you flashes of flare-ups more frequently than you’d want. When this happens, it’s a good idea to keep track of the symptoms your body is giving you and consider seeking medical help.

A modest gout flare-up can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain relievers and a gout-friendly diet. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor:

  • gout flare-ups that don’t seem to go away
  • severe discomfort
  • other issues, such as kidney stones

If you have diabetes symptoms, you should also see a doctor. These are some of them:

  • urinating frequently
  • blurred up vision
  • skin that is parched
  • low sensitivity/numbness
  • Dehydrated

The final word

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the swirl of information — and misinformation — available regarding gout, whether you’ve just been diagnosed, have had gout for a long time, or are caring for someone who has gout.

The relationship between gout and type 2 diabetes isn’t fully understood but being diagnosed with one can increase your risk of the other. Get in touch with your healthcare professional if you need more information about gout and diabetes.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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    18 replies to "Gout and Diabetes"

    • Luis Geigel

      Hi Spiro and thanks for your prompt response. In order to avoid more gout attacks avoided all alcohol and all animal protein. It worked, no more gout flares or attacks.Yet I was eating too many carbs, even though they were whole wheat, except white potatoes and rice of course. It appears this reliance on carbs brought about my diabetes. So now I’m doing low carb, not keto, with a few ounces of animal protein 3 times a week and my diabetes is controlled. Your suggestion of 80% 100% whole wheat/grain is scary. Way too many carbs. And aren’t beans full of purines? Right now with low carb my A1c is 5.8, right at the borderline. So I’ll stick with what I’m doing but thanks anyway for your concern.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Luis!

        Yes the diet I promote is more for gout sufferers only but when you suffer from diabetes as well, then alterations are needed. As for beans, they are not comparable to eating meat let’s say, they are higher in the plant based foods category but again not sufficient enough to raise uric acid levels for the majority of people. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule.

        Good luck!

    • Luis Geigel

      Was diagnosed with diabetes last January after having gout for over 15 years. Diet has become a dilemma since we are left with cheese, eggs and veggies basically. While milk and yogurt are good for gout they are bad for diabetes. Try and find a nutritionist that handles both, it’s almost impossible. Are you on Facebook? Maybe we can start a gout and diabetes group to help us deal with this double whammy.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Luis!

        I have a friend that reversed his diabetes with strict dieting and exercise. He ate like I told him to, with the 80-10-10 diet of eating 80% of your daily calories as complex carbohydrates, not refined carbohydrates so that consists of fresh vegetables, 1 fruit max a day, beans for protein, 100% whole grain breads, 100% whole grain pastas and 100% whole grain rice.

        10% of your daily calories can be lean meats such as turkey, chicken breast, fish and very little red meat.

        Final 10% of your daily calories can be fat as in low fat greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, milk, butter etc…

        Drink only water, herbal teas and coffee. Avoid alcohol and sugary beverages.

        Avoid all processed foods and meats. Do not fry. Eat your food either baked, boiled or raw. There are plenty of tasty recipes to get you going on the web.

        Try this and let me know how your diabetes is in 3 months.

        Good luck!

    • Carolyn Fletcher

      I am a new subscriber to your newsletter and am interested in what you feel about this issue of mine. I have type 2 diabetes and gout. I have not been able to find a diet that treats both of these diseases.

      One is high in protein and fat and not much fruit at all. The other is very low amounts of protein, fats and has way more fruit than I am eating for blood sugar issues. I would love to find a happy medium regarding my choices of foods to eat. I would like to try your 80-10-10 approach. Do you feel this would have an effect on my blood sugar levels?

      I usually avoid carbohydrates in the forms you recommend. I just had my A1C and uric acid levels tested and AlC is 5.6 and uric acid 6.6, which my Dr. feels is not bad. I would like to have them be better. Can you answer me about this issue?

      Thank you,
      Carolyn Fletcher

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Carolyn!

        Yes if you suffer from diabetes as well, take out the fruit and any other food that can spike sugar levels, for example eating too many beets can have a negative effect on diabetics. Protein also affects gout sufferers and diabetics. So minimize protein intake to 10% of your daily calories. So basically skip the fruit. Only drink water, herbal teas and coffee. No sugary beverages. Watch your sauces too, condiments,,,many hidden sugars in there too!

        Good luck!

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