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Gout and Kidney Disease: What s the connection?

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Gout and Kidney Disease: What s the connection?

Gout refers to a type of arthritis marked by the sudden onset of severe pain, tenderness, and redness in the joints. A gout attack often occurs unexpectedly and results in flare-ups in the joints, particularly at the bottom of your big toe. The pain and discomfort, accompanied by swelling, inflammation, and a burning sensation in the affected joint may be severe enough to keep you awake at night.

The condition develops due to the gathering of urate crystals in your joints, leading to intense pain and inflammation. Urate crystals may form when there are higher traces of uric acid found in the blood. Uric acid is formed when your body breaks down certain chemicals, known as purines. Usually, the uric acid gets dissolved in your blood and passes through the kidneys into your urine. However, sometimes your body produces excess uric acid or the kidneys release too less uric acid. This leads to the accumulation of uric acid and further to the formation of urate crystals in the joints, causing a gout attack or symptoms like swelling, severe pain, and inflammation.

Over time, the urate crystals collecting in the urinary tract may affect your kidneys, and lead to further complications like kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, or even kidney failure.

Can kidney disease lead to a gout attack?

While previous studies have identified gout as a risk factor for kidney diseases, recent research has found that kidney diseases can also cause a gout attack. If you have chronic kidney disease, your kidneys do not function as efficiently as they should. This means the kidneys are unable to filter uric acid properly, resulting in the build-up of uric acid and possibly causing gout.

Most people, who have an early-stage kidney disorder, do not realize they have it. In this case, the symptoms of gout could be an indication of kidney disease. You should consult a doctor to know if you should get tested for chronic kidney disease if you already have gout.

Gout can be chronic or acute. In most cases, the condition lasts a lifetime and is rarely curable. However, there are ways to manage gout and prevent the risk of kidney disease. Eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar content, purines, and alcohol, maintaining healthy body weight, exercising moderately, and keeping the blood sugar and blood pressure under control can help reduce or prevent inflammation of joints and improve your kidney health.

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