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The Link Between Gout and Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your chances of developing gout are higher than those without diabetes. Conversely… gout makes you more likely to develop diabetes.
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden swelling, burning and stiffness in the joints. The pain can be intense.
It usually first appears on the big toe, which may turn red. You may also get gout attacks in your ankles, knees and other joints. An attack can last anything up to 10 days before the pain subsides.
And there can be long gaps between gout attacks, up to several years. It is estimated that nearly 85% of people who have had one attack of gout will experience another episode within three years.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by hyperuricemiaa build-up of uric acid in your bloodstream.
Uric acid is a waste product your body creates when it breaks down purines. Purines they are a type of protein found in many foods and in all the cells of your body.
Uric acid normally dissolves in the blood, passes through the kidneys and is excreted in urine.
But the levels of uric acid in your blood can get too high if your kidneys can’t remove it effectively… or if you drink too much alcohol or eat too much of certain foods that cause excess uric acid production.
If the level of uric acid in your blood remains too high for an extended period of time, the acid forms needle-like crystals that get stuck in your joints or soft tissues. This causes the swollen, painful joints of gout.
Gout can run in families, perhaps because members of the same family tend to live similar lifestyles.
The link between diabetes and gout
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine in 2010 they examined thousands of adults and their children. Researchers found that people with higher uric acid levels were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Another study published in 2014 in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that the association between gout and diabetes was particularly strong in women… women with gout were 71% more likely to develop diabetes than women without it.
Other studies show that diabetes may play a role in the development of gout… and that hyperuricemia may worsen insulin resistance. Each condition adversely affects the other.
In addition, elevated uric acid is also seen in other medical conditions, not just gout.
People who have gout, for example, often also have elevated cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, and elevated blood glucose. This makes people with gout more likely to have or develop type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and kidney disease.
People who are obese are more likely to get gout compared to a normal weight person because carrying extra pounds slows down the kidney’s ability to get rid of uric acid… 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
So it’s no surprise that about 50% of all gout sufferers are overweight. Central obesity (carrying too much weight around the middle) increases the levels of certain inflammatory substances in your blood. This can worsen gout attacks.
About 80% of people with type 2 diabetes also have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the level of uric acid, which is the cause of gout. High BP is also associated with insulin resistance, the bane of type 2 diabetics. Gout and diabetes are also linked to heart disease and kidney damage.
The link between gout and type 2 diabetes is sure and certain. The good news is that you can beat both using the same diet and lifestyle techniques you can use to beat diabetes.
How is gout diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical examination of the affected joints. If these indicate gout, this can be confirmed by:
1) testing a joint fluid sample for uric acid crystals and/or
2) measuring the amount of uric acid in the blood
If the amount of uric acid in your blood is higher than 415 umol/L (micromoles per liter), you will be diagnosed with gout.
How is gout treated?
To reduce pain during an attack, you should rest the joint. Taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can also reduce pain.
But DO NOT take aspirin… it can raise the uric acid level in the blood and make the pain worse.
To stop a gout attack, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid (such as prednisone) into the affected joint. It can also be administered orally.
colchicine is an ancient gout remedy, first used in ancient Egypt to treat rheumatism and swelling. It works by reducing the buildup of uric acid crystals that cause pain in the affected joint. Colchicine is an alternative for people who cannot tolerate NSAIDs.
At high doses, its side effects (eg, gastrointestinal distress) limit its use. However, lower doses are well tolerated and still effective.
For colchicine to be most effective, it must be taken as soon as a gout attack begins. Even with other medications, early treatment is best and can mean relief begins within 24 hours.
To prevent future seizures, your doctor may prescribe two medications:
- Uricosuric agents … drugs that increase the excretion of uric acid in the urine, thereby reducing the concentration of uric acid in your bloodstream
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors … substances that inhibit the activity of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme involved in the metabolism of purines
What triggers gout attacks?
Everyone is different and what triggers a gout attack in one person may not in another. However, common triggers include:
Heavy drinking, especially beer
Foods with a high purine content
Salty sodas and foods containing fructose (a type of sugar)
Some medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure or leg swelling
Fasting and dehydration
The best way to prevent the development of gout or to prevent attacks is to follow a healthy lifestyle.
The effect of alcohol on gout
Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of developing gout. It can also cause a sudden attack if you already suffer from gout.
Alcohol can increase blood uric acid levels in several ways:
Many beers contain large amounts of purines from the fermentation process.
Alcohol stimulates the production of uric acid in the liver.
In your body, alcohol is converted to lactic acid… which interferes with the removal of uric acid by the kidneys.
Recent research has found that men who regularly drink two bottles of beer a day are two and a half times more likely to have a gout attack compared to those who drink two glasses of wine a day. So if you must drink, drink wine (or spirits) rather than beer.
As a result, if you suffer from gout, you have to give up alcohol or limit your consumption to the odd glass on festive occasions.
Weight loss as prevention of gout
Simply losing weight can reduce the level of uric acid in your blood and the number of attacks you suffer.
Losing weight will also reduce stress on load-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, ankles and feet…attack points for gout.
However, crash diets should be avoided… prolonged periods without food and rapid weight loss can raise uric acid levels and trigger gout attacks.
The best way to lose weight safely is to eat a balanced, healthy diet combined with some physical activity.
Rubbing gout with water
Drinking fluids reduces the likelihood of crystal formation. In general, you need to drink eight large glasses of fluids a day (1.5 liters).
All beverages other than alcohol count toward fluid intake, including caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee.
Caffeine can act as a mild diuretic, making you urinate more often. However, regular tea and coffee drinkers develop a natural tolerance to caffeine and experience mild dehydration only when they consume more than their usual amount.
Caffeine itself may not have any direct effect on the risk of developing gout. Indeed, research has shown that coffee intake may be associated (in some people) with slightly lower blood uric acid levels than those who drink equal volumes of tea.
As a diabetic, you should be in the habit of drinking plenty of water regularly.
How to use diet to beat gout
There are several things you can do to beat gout with diet:
include high doses of vitamin C in your diet
eat sour cherries
eat foods low in purines
follow Diet against diabetes
Using vitamin C to avoid gout
Studies have shown that men whose diets contain more vitamin C are less likely to develop gout.
Studies also suggest that taking vitamin C as a dietary supplement (500 to 1,500 mg per day) can lower blood uric acid levels. Vitamin C helps the kidneys remove uric acid from the body.
If you are considering adding a vitamin C supplement to your diet and are taking prescription medications, you should check with your doctor to make sure there is no adverse effect on the effectiveness of these medications.
Also be aware that high doses of vitamin C can cause loose stools in some people.
The use of sour cherries as a remedy for gout
Sour cherries, also known as sour cherries, are a bit different than the usual sweet cherries. They are bright red in color and retain their red color even after juicing, freezing or drying. In contrast, sweet cherries are deep red or purple, almost black.
Sour cherries and sour cherry juice are used as a natural remedy for gout. Research shows that these cherries can reduce the level of uric acid in your blood along with the inflammation that occurs with gout.
The only problem with sour cherries is that they spoil quickly after picking, so they are frozen or dried as quickly as possible. So the most common way to enjoy them is as dried snacks, in smoothies, cereal bars and baked goods, rather than as fresh fruit.
Foods with a low purine content
Your body makes uric acid by breaking down purines that you take in when you eat. So a good tactic if you have gout is to reduce your consumption of foods high in purines.
This requires some knowledge. Here’s an overview:
 Foods with a high purine content (to be avoided) include:
- offal…such as liver and kidney, heart and sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas)
- game… venison, pheasant, rabbit and hare
- oily fish… anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, sprats, bait and trout
- seafood… especially mussels, crabs, shrimps and other molluscs, fish roe, caviar
- meat and yeast extracts… Marmite, Bovril, commercial sauce
 Foods containing moderate amounts of purines:
- meat… beef, lamb, pork, chicken
- poultry… chicken, duck
- dried peas, beans and legumes… baked beans, kidney beans, soybeans, peas and so on
- mushrooms and other fungi… a mycoprotein found in Quorn
- some vegetables…asparagus, cauliflower and spinach
- whole grain… bran, oat bran, whole grain bread
 Foods with a low purine content:
- Dairy products… milk, cheese, yogurt, butter
- bread and cereal… (except whole grains)
- pasta and noodles
- fruits and vegetables… except for asparagus, cauliflower and spinach
So, to reduce the amount of uric acid floating in your bloodstream, you need to avoid foods and eat them in  in moderation.
You can enjoy the food in  to your heart’s content…besides being a diabetic you have to avoid dairy and eggs.
Using diet to beat gout
To beat gout and avoid attacks, use the same diet you use to beat diabetes:
A plant-based diet consisting of natural (unprocessed) foods that are… low in sugar… low in fat… low in salt… high in fiber… low GI… contain little meat. .. with lots of water… except eggs and all dairy products (milk, cheese, etc.)
Just add extra vitamin C as a supplement, use dried cherries as snacks (make sure no sugar has been added), and make sure the foods you eat are low in purines or contain only reasonable amounts.
In addition, you need to support your diet with regular exercise.
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