Gout and Kidney Problems

Gout - The Kings' Disease

The pain of gout has long been associated with diet and drinking, hence the once-popular name, The Disease of Kings. Gouty arthritis, metabolic arthritis or just plain gout, is becoming more and more common in developed countries with two groups in particular being affected - men between the ages of forty and fifty, and postmenopausal women. It is a very painful type of arthritis, the rate of which has been increasing steadily, possibly due to dietary and lifestyle habits as well as the greater use of medications that cause hyperuricemia - long lasting, abnormally high amounts of uric acid in the blood.

Precursors for Gout

Gout can be an inherited condition with one in five sufferers having a history of metabolic arthritis in their family. There are several other factors which can trigger gout, including chemotherapy treatments, crash diets, surgery and injury to the joints. Obesity is a precursor for many diseases which can manifest later in gout, such as diabetes. The links between gout and chronic disease is becoming more and more evident as time goes on. Besides diabetes, kidney disease has a direct relationship to gout.

Kidney Disease and Gout

People who have kidney disease are generally more susceptible to abnormally high amounts of uric acid in their blood, or hyperuricemia. Because their kidneys are unable to remove adequate amounts of uric acid from the body, gout occurs. If a person has had a kidney transplant, they become more susceptible to gout as a result of medications taken to aid the assimilation of the kidney into the body. These medications tend to increase the amount of uric acid in the individual's body and the person may develop gout, tophi and persistent arthritis as a result of medication.

The Pain of Kidney Stones

One of the most common ailments associated with gout and the kidneys is kidney stones. The presence of too much uric acid in the body is the primary source of kidney stones in people who suffer with gout. A person who suffers with multiple attacks of gout is at much higher risk for developing kidney stones than the average person. Depending upon the type of gout an individual has (primary - when the cause of high levels of uric acid is unknown, or secondary - when the sufferer has high levels of uric acid as a result of an underlying disorder) will effect the probability of occurrence. People with primary gout have 10-25% more kidney stones than the average population and nearly 42% of secondary gout sufferers develop kidney stones.

Damage Control

Chronic uric acid interstitial nephropathy, in simple terms - damage to the kidneys - happens when uric acid crystals slowly build blockages in the structures and tubes that carry fluid away from the kidney. This complaint is reversible and manageable.

If a person is suffering with gout in any of its manifestations, it is prudent to seek help from a professional and to undergo testing to ensure further damage is not taking place within the body as a result of high levels of uric acid.