The link between gout and depression: what you need to know

Jul 20, 2023 — Gout is a form of arthritis that causes intense pain, redness and swelling in the joints and extremities. physical complications of arthritisIf left untreated, these can include high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, kidney problems, and obesity. Now researchers take a look at another difficult health challenge associated with gout: Depression,

recently Study Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that there was a significant increase in arthritis patients who also had a mood disorder. Their study looked at 157,426 patients and found that about 13 patients per 1,000 person-years received a diagnosis of both arthritis and depression, while 11 patients (1.1%) per 1,000 person-years did not have arthritis but depression. Was. (Person-years is a measure that takes into account the number of patients in the study and how long the study lasted. In this case, that means 1 for every 1,000 patients with arthritis and 13 for depression.) were. Year of study.)

But the researchers believe that it is possible that the number is higher. This is because men – who are more likely than women to have arthritis – are less likely to receive an official diagnosis of depression because women often do not seek treatment for psychological symptoms.

Last research Members of this team found that patients with arthritis had a 29% higher risk of depression, depending on how well their condition was controlled. This is important, the researchers said, because the psychological burden of acute physical pain may not be underrated

There are other factors involved as well.

“The relationship between gout and depression is complex and not fully understood,” he added. Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH Director of Education, Department of Geriatric Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, who is also an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “One hypothesis is that both depression and arthritis are related Swelling, There are also some risk factors – obesity and diet – that are common among people with arthritis and those with depression. Medications used to treat acute gout attacks, such as steroids, may also contribute to or trigger depressive symptoms.

How gout develops is also an important factor. uric acid It is a waste product that is created when your body breaks down chemicals called purines.

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

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

But there are other reasons why arthritis and depression may be linked.

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

Read on for a closer look at the possible connection between gout and depression — and to learn how to find the right treatment.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

may be symptoms of gout Also included are:

  • rapid onset of joint pain, usually in your big toe, but also in your knees, wrists, ankles, fingers, or elbows
  • Pain that won’t go away. A gout attack is at its worst within 4 to 12 hours after it begins, but pain can last for several days to weeks.
  • limited speed. The pain and swelling of arthritis can limit the range of motion of your joints.

What are the symptoms of depression?

symptoms of depression may include:

  • feeling sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, pessimistic, angry, hopeless, restless, guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • loss of interest in things you enjoy doing
  • Tiredness, low energy, or feeling like you’ve “slowed down”.
  • problems with concentration or memory
  • changes in sleep, appetite, or your weight
  • Cramps, headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems with no physical cause
  • thoughts of suicide or thoughts of death

Which treatments can help?

Regular visits to the doctor for checkups and measurement of uric acid levels in the blood can be helpful. Some doctors want the uric acid level to be below 6.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). american kidney fund,

And it’s important to make sure your kidneys are working well: Small kidney chinese studies it turns out During an acute gout attack, frequent urination helps reduce the amount of uric acid in the body.

Even if uric acid levels are under control, there may be other reasons that link gout to depression. People suffering from arthritis should keep an eye out for noticeable changes in mood.

“Patients should tell their doctors if they feel depressed or depressed for more than 2 weeks, or if they lose the ability to find pleasure or joy in activities,” Collier said. “If patients begin to have thoughts about ending their lives, they should tell their doctor immediately.”

antidepressant can be determined medicine for arthritisAnd they can make a big difference in the quality of your life.

Patients should also make sure that they take their gout medication exactly as directed.

“Because gout attacks can be debilitating and pain and impaired functioning can limit activities, drugs that prevent gout attacks may also reduce episodes of depression,” Collier said. And it is important to manage any cardiovascular risk factors a patient may have. Exercising regularly — on a doctor’s advice — limiting alcohol and eating right can not only benefit heart health, but also prevent gout attacks and potentially related mood problems.

“Processed foods, beer and red meat can lead to flare-ups,” Bose said. “A good diet and an overall healthy lifestyle can really help combat arthritis and depression.”

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