The Link between Gout and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is quite common and the numbers are growing not only in North America but worldwide. An estimated 50 million Americans or 1 out of 6 have a form of metabolic syndrome and 40% of people aged 60 and over are affected by it. Metabolic syndrome is is when your metabolism no longer works properly and is defined when any three of the following traits are present at the same time in the same individual. It’s simply a cluster of biochemical and physiological abnormalities and they include:
- The main one being weight gain around the abdomen having a waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and about 35 inches in women.
- HDL cholesterol of 40 mg/dl or lower in men and 50 mg/dl or lower in women.
- High blood pressure of 135/85 or more
- Serum triglycerides which are the main ingredient in animal fat and vegetable oils and are the most common form of fat that we digest in the body. They should not be over 150 mg/dl.
- Blood glucose levels of over 100 mg/dl
Remember that metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself, it is a group of these risk factors. If you suffer from metabolic syndrome then you are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Now the connection it has with gout is that high levels of uric acid in the blood has been found to be a key factor in causing metabolic syndrome. High uric acid levels basically disrupts normal metabolism. Now there are many studies that confirm that gout is part of the metabolic syndrome and surprise, surprise; the findings from different studies all confirm that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is pretty high in gout sufferers. It is pretty high as well with those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
But what these researchers are finding is that sugar/fructose plays a big role in metabolic syndrome just as it does in gout. Let’s examine the link. In a popular H.K Choi study that I have cited in previous posts, states that soft drinks or any fructose consumption raises the risk of gout. Did you know that fructose is the only carbohydrate known to increase uric acid levels? So higher uric acid levels coming from fructose consumption can lead to gout and metabolic syndrome. Double whammy right?
Adopting a low sugar/fructose diet is important for gout sufferers and those that also suffer from metabolic syndrome. I always advocated that you should not consume more than 25 grams of sugar a day. If you are disease free then you can consume up to 50 grams a day but since we suffer from gout and are more sensitive to fructose keep a limit of 25 grams daily please. You don’t want to risk developing other diseases on top of gout. You can avoid metabolic syndrome rather easily. Eat properly and exercise. There is a study that those that live a sedentary life are at the highest risk of developing metabolic syndrome but then again, if you don’t move much you at an increased risk to develop everything else too! So get off the couch turn off the TV or Xbox and move your body. That’s it for today folks!
Posted by Spiro Koulouris