"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The link between gout and depression: what it is best to know

July 20, 2023 – Gout is a type of arthritis that causes severe pain, redness and swelling of the joints and extremities. Physical complications of goutif left untreated, can result in hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, kidney problems and obesity. Now researchers are taking a more in-depth take a look at one other difficult health challenge linked to gout: depression.

A recent study from the University of British Columbia found a major increase in gout patients also affected by the mood disorder. Their study checked out 157,426 patients and located that about 13 patients per 1,000 person-years received a diagnosis of each gout and depression, in comparison with 11 patients (1.1%) per 1,000 person-years who didn’t have gout but did have depression. (Person-years is a unit of measurement that takes under consideration the variety of patients within the study and the length of the study. In this case, that implies that over the course of a study yr, there have been 13 patients with gout and depression out of each 1,000 patients.)

However, researchers imagine that this number could also be even higher. This is because men – who are suffering from gout more often than women – don’t seek treatment for mental health symptoms as often as women and are subsequently less more likely to receive an official diagnosis of depression.

Previous Research The members of this team found that gout patients have a 29% higher risk of depression depending on how well their disease is controlled. This is significant, the researchers said, since the psychological burden of intense physical pain is just not underestimated.

Other aspects also play a job.

“The links between gout and depression are complicated and not yet fully understood,” said Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH Director of Education within the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, who can also be a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “One hypothesis is that each depression and gout are related to inflammation. There are also some risk factors – obesity and diet – that are common in people with gout and those with depression. Drugs used to treat acute gout attacks, such as steroids, may also contribute to or cause depressive symptoms.”

The way through which gout develops can also be a very important factor. uric acid is a waste product created when your body breaks down chemicals called purines.

“In gout, uric acid forms crystals in the joints,” said Nilanjana Bose, MDa board-certified rheumatologist in Houston and spokesperson for the American College of Rheumatology.

Korean researchers recently investigated how uric acid, which causes gout when produced in excess by the body, can enter the blood and cause mild inflammation.

However, there are other the reason why gout and depression could also be related.

“It is thought that high blood uric acid levels may impair neurotransmitters in the brain, which may contribute to depression,” Collier said. “However, not all people with high blood uric acid levels develop gout. There may be common genetic or metabolic links between gout and depression.”

Read on to take a more in-depth take a look at the possible link between gout and depression—and to learn the right way to find the proper treatment.

What are the symptoms of gout?

Signs of gout can also includes:

  • The rapid onset of joint pain, mostly in the massive toe, but additionally within the knees, wrists, ankles, fingers or elbows
  • Pain that doesn't go away. A gout attack is worst inside 4 to 12 hours of starting, however the pain can last for days to weeks.
  • Limited mobility. Gout pain and swelling can limit the mobility of your joints.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Signs of depression could include:

  • Sadness, fear, emptiness, hopelessness, pessimism, moodiness, frustration, restlessness, guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Loss of interest in stuff you enjoy doing
  • Fatigue, low energy or feeling “slowed down”
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Changes in sleep, appetite or weight
  • Cramps, headaches or pain or stomach problems without physical cause
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Which treatments can assist?

Regular visits to the doctor for check-ups and to measure uric acid levels within the blood will be helpful. Some doctors want the uric acid level to remain below 6.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), in accordance with American Kidney Fund.

And it can be crucial to be sure that that your kidneys are working well: A small Chinese study noticed, that During an acute gout attack, frequent urination helped reduce the quantity of uric acid within the body.

Even if uric acid levels are under control, there could also be other causes that link gout to depression. People with gout needs to be alert to any noticeable mood swings.

“Patients should tell their doctor if they feel down or depressed for more than two weeks, or if they lose their ability to experience pleasure or enjoyment in activities,” Collier said. “If patients develop thoughts of wanting to end their life, they should tell their doctor immediately.”

Antidepressants will be prescribed along with Medicines for goutthey usually can significantly improve your quality of life.

Patients also needs to be sure you take gout medications exactly as directed.

“Because gout attacks can be debilitating and pain and reduced ability to function can limit activities, medications that prevent gout attacks can also reduce depressive episodes,” Collier said. And it's vital to think about any heart risk aspects a patient could have. Getting regular exercise — as beneficial by a physician — limiting alcohol and eating well can’t only promote heart health, but additionally prevent gout attacks and potentially related mood problems.

“Processed foods, beer and red meat can trigger gout attacks,” Bose said. “A good diet and an overall healthy lifestyle can really help with gout and depression.”