Diabetes And Gout

The close relationship between type 2 diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus) and gout has been confirmed by medical experts, and each disorder may be guilty of triggering the other in patients. Certain studies have shown that gout sufferers have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life, while others have found that gout sometimes develops in patients already suffering from diabetes. In any case, the fact that there is a link between the two illnesses is undeniable and therefore diabetes sufferers need to be on the look out for gout symptoms, and vice versa.

The Link

As a condition that may allow uric acid (also called urate) to build up in the blood, diabetes has been recognized as a possible cause of gout. The poor blood circulation often associated with diabetes means the body is less able to get rid of uric acid. Therefore crystals can collect in the extremities and joints of the body, such the toes and ankles, and cause painful outbreaks of gout. Gout caused by diabetes is often referred to as "secondary gout" and usually occurs in elderly people. Likewise, gout is thought by some researchers to activate the development of diabetes in some patients. One study carried out in the United States found that male gout sufferers in particular are more at risk of contracting type 2 diabetes later in their lives. None of this means that if you suffer from diabetes, gout is definitely going to be part of your future. Nor should gout patients assume that they will be diabetic later on. There are many other risk factors for both conditions, including obesity, diet and genetics. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that 20 percent of gout sufferers have a close relative who also suffers from the condition.

Steps To Take

If you have gout and you want to reduce your risk of becoming diabetic, the good news is that many of the lifestyle changes you make to avoid outbreaks of gout may also contribute to diabetes prevention. These mainly include a sensible, healthy diet, exercise and cutting out alcohol. It makes sense for gout sufferers to have regular glucose tests, which should show any early warning signs of diabetes. If you are a diabetes patient hoping to prevent gout, it is important that you take steps to improve the circulation of blood around your body and prevent that nasty build up of uric acid. Again, a lot can be achieved through regular exercise, as well as drinking plenty of water and eating foods that improve circulation, such as garlic, and herbal remedies like cayenne tincture and ginko biloba. Of course, the best person to advise you about this is your medical practitioner. You should get medical advice before beginning any form of alternative therapy aimed at treating or preventing gout or diabetes.