Gout & Diabetes
If you have gout, you may be at risk for diabetes.
Research has shown a link between gout and diabetes. People who have gout and elevated uric acid levels are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. At the same time, those who already have type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high levels of uric acid in the blood – or hyperuricemia – which is the root cause of gout.
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are above normal, due to either a lack of insulin in the blood or resistance to the insulin. Studies have 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.
Like gout, diabetes has been linked to other serious health issues, such as heart disease and kidney damage. Controlling blood sugar and uric acid levels can help to make both diabetes and gout easier to manage.
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.
Control Gout and Protect Your Long-Term Health
Maintaining a healthy serum uric acid level of 6 mg/dL or below is important to reduce risk for gout and diabetes. Ask your doctor for a routine serum uric acid blood test to see if you have elevated uric acid. Your doctor can also run tests to measure your blood sugar level.
If your uric acid levels are high, your doctor may prescribe medications to help keep levels low and reduce your risk for future gout flares. It is important to take these medications as prescribed – and not to stop them without talking with the doctor. It is also important to tell your doctor about all other medications and supplements you are taking, as some may be raising your uric acid levels.
Other steps – such as drinking plenty of water to flush the kidneys and help to remove uric acid from the bloodstream; exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight; and maintaining a diabetes-friendly diet – are also important for reducing risk.
To learn more about gout and diabetes, download this brochure. Additional information about diabetes is available through the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org.