Gout and Diabetes

Research has shown that there is a link between gout and diabetes, with 26% of gout patients also suffering from diabetes.

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. However, some medications (corticosteroids) make it more difficult to treat a patient with gout and diabetes. With growing concern about using NSAIDs for pain in diabetics with kidney disease because NSAIDs can injure the kidneys, it’s important to schedule a visit with your rheumatologist or other gout specialist who can not only help control healthy benchmarks, but also prescribe the right treatment for you.

While anyone with gout can develop diabetes, risk is especially high among women – with recent studies showing that women who have gout are 47 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 6.0 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 http://www.diabetes.org/newsroom/press-releases/2012/sci-sessions-TINSAL.htm