Gout and Diabetes
Gout and diabetes are strongly linked, and together they can produce an unwelcome and unhealthy mix of symptoms. People who are at risk for gout are also at risk for metabolic disorder, like diabetes, and vice versa, so stay a step ahead of any complications with sound understanding, good preventative measures and an action plan for symptom treatment.
The Gout and Diabetes Link
Gout and diabetes often occur together, and experts warn that having diabetes can drastically raise your risk of developing gout. A major risk factor for diabetics is poor circulation, which can result from uncontrolled blood sugar. When the blood cannot circulate easily, toxins and waste products can pool in the extremities, and compounds like uric acid can build up in the joints, causing gout. But the inverse is also true: having gout increases your risk of developing diabetes (along with cardiovascular disease).
The Overlapping Risk Factors
This connection is less understood, but experts point to a couple of factors that could explain the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among long-time gout sufferers:
- Unhealthy lifestyle. Both gout and diabetes are often traced to unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle. It follows that many gout patients are likely already living the recipe for obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease.
- Uncontrolled uric acid levels. High uric acid levels can increase diabetes risk by 20%. Those with gout know how uric acid buildup can lead to pain and inflammation, but high uric acid levels don’t always come with symptoms. When you neglect to check your uric acid level, you are increasing your risk without even knowing it.
Treating Gout and Diabetes Simultaneously
Many of the best preventative measures also play a role in the treatment of gout and type 2 diabetes. From simple lifestyle changes to more focused disease management, there are several steps every sufferer can take toward better comfort, fewer symptoms and a longer life:
- Get active. If you are looking for cheap and effective treatment, nothing can beat regular exercise. A mere 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can quickly rid you of excess weight and encourage a more positive emotional state. As long as you keep it up, these improvements spark a chain reaction: energy leads to more energy, which leads to more weight loss, which leads to fewer symptoms and flare-ups.
- Increase your water intake. Many people don’t realize how much sugar, additives and extra calories they take in liquid form, and replacing sweetened, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages is one of the most effective ways to attack each condition at its source. The more water you take in, the better your blood circulation, the less uric acid crystals will form and the better your kidneys will function, improving your general state of health and comfort.
- Choose helpful foods. Most diabetics and gout sufferers know which foods will worsen symptoms or increase risk of complications, but rather than stick to neutral foods, it is a good idea to investigate proactive ingredients that can actually help to restore your health. Cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger and whole grains have been found to increase blood circulation, while providing important compounds and minerals for healthy bones and tissue.
There is no overnight cure for wither illness, but there is still a lot you can do for your body and mind. In some cases, medication will need to play a central role in your disease management, but don’t discount your ability to take charge of your own health and quality of life when living with gout and diabetes.
A Deep Dive Into Diet Changes
Both gout and diabetes are conditions that are affected by diet. While the above lifestyle changes might help you, we are going to dive even deeper into the specifics of gout and diabetes diet-wise, so you know what to eat and what not to eat.
First off, be sure to incorporate foods that are lower in calories but abundant in fiber, as this can reduce your risk of develop diabetes. When it comes to preventing or managing gout, you should avoid foods like red and processed meats, shellfish, foods that are high in sugar and alcohol, paying special attention to beer.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have gout and believe you are at risk of diabetes (or vice versa) be sure to track your symptoms and communicate the development and pattern to your doctor. We hope you have found this article helpful, but in the end your doctor will provide the best diagnostic and treatment plan going forward. However, making these lifestyle changes in the meantime will certainly only help your health!