Gout & Diabetes
While more research is needed, studies have shown a strong correlation between gouty arthritis and diabetes. Those who have gout and hyperuricemia have been found to be at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. At the same time, those who already have type 2 diabetes are more likely to have hyperuricemia, which can lead to painful gout flares.
Poor blood circulation in the limbs may cause a buildup of urate crystals in the joints, which can accumulate and contribute to diabetes in gout patients. Studies have also shown that insulin resistance may play a role in developing gout and that hyperuricemia may worsen insulin resistance. Insulin resistance has also been associated with obesity and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for gout.
While anyone with gout can develop diabetes, risk is especially high among women – with recent studies showing that women who have gout are 71 percent more likely to develop diabetes than women who do not have gout.
Encourage Patients to Minimize Risk for Gout and Protect their Long-Term Health
Maintaining a healthy serum uric acid level of 6 mg/dL or below is vital to minimizing a patient’s risk for gout and diabetes. Encourage your patients to get their serum uric acid tested every six months, and also regularly monitor their blood sugar levels.
While gout is growing in prevalence, just 10 percent of gout patients are getting the ongoing treatment that they need. It is important to educate patients about the importance of routine sUA monitoring – and the consequences for not properly managing their gout and diabetes.
This includes making sure they are taking steps such as taking medications as prescribed; exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight; and staying hydrated to flush their kidneys and help to remove uric acid from the bloodstream.