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. 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.
Diabetes a disease of high blood sugar is also associated with obesity, hypertension, not enough physical activity and high blood pressure. Gout and diabetes are metabolic disorders and if you have both diseases or either one, strong chances they were inherited from your genetic makeup. But more likely than that, you probably had the same bad eating habits that both or one of your parents had and then went on to develop gout and/or diabetes, by watching your mom or dad, you instilled those bad eating habits and allowed it to happen to you.
Furthermore, both diseases are associated with poor blood circulation in the body especially the limbs and insulin resistance in diabetes plays a big part in the potential development of gout. Remember that in some advanced cases of diabetes, gangrene occurs in the foot making amputation necessary.
Sadly, both diseases can also kill you and lead you to a poorer quality of life. But it’s the poor circulation, the most likely reason why the risk of gout is relatively high in people with diabetes. Poor blood circulation means you have higher uric acid levels, making the kidneys slow and inefficient in releasing it out to your urine. In addition, your blood is overly acidic and your pH levels are off balance.
Evidence of gout and diabetes
New studies indicate that you have a 20% increased chance of developing diabetes and 40% increases risk of developing kidney disease if you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. A study conducted by Dr. Eswar Krishnan who is an assistant professor of rheumatology at Stanford University researched over a span of 3 years about 2000 men who had gout from a Veterans Administration database and note that none of these men had been diagnosed with neither diabetes nor kidney disease at the beginning of this 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. For 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; and the importance of maintaining an aggressive healthy lifestyle of a proper diet and exercise.
Diabetes is usually divided as Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 consists of about 10-15% of all diabetics and is associated more to 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 can be maintained with a healthy diet and exercise. Insulin is required to convert glucose/sugar from the food you eat into energy but diabetics produce no insulin or produce very little causing the glucose/sugar levels to stay in your blood stream.
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 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, improve your glucose intolerance with type 2 diabetes, and improve your blood pressure which will lower your uric acid levels helping you avoid another gout attack too!
- Avoid alcohol since uric acid levels always rise when having a beer, spirit or wine and also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. People who drink often especially beer drinkers are also usually more obese.
- Eat a healthier diet, a diet comprising of 80% carbohydrates (food as grown from the earth) 10% protein and 10% fat is key to lowering uric acid levels and decreasing your risk of becoming a diabetic.
- Limit sugar and avoid high-fructose corn syrup beverages and foods to 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.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris