Gout and Kidney Health


Uric acid is a normal waste product that can be found in your bloodstream – but when kidneys aren’t functioning well and there’s more uric acid in the bloodstream than the kidneys can get rid of, a condition called hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) can occur. This buildup of uric acid (and elevated UA levels) can cause gout and painful crystals to form around the joints.

Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis that usually affects one of your big toes. It can also strike any joint, like your wrist, ankle or knee, or even the arch of your foot. The pain of an acute attack of gout can be severe and sudden.

Some people with gout are able to manage their symptoms through lifestyle changes alone, while others will need medications. Knowing whether you have gout or another type of arthritis is important since treatments differ between these conditions.

A common misconception is that uric acid (UA) causes kidney disease, but it’s actually the other way around. Kidney disease can cause elevated UA levels, which can lead to gout.

Uric acid is a normal waste product that can be found in your bloodstream – but when kidneys aren’t functioning well and there’s more uric acid in the bloodstream than the kidneys can get rid of, a condition called hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) can occur. This buildup of uric acid (and elevated UA levels) can cause gout and painful crystals to form around the joints.

In addition to treating gout symptoms, it’s important to find out what’s causing them. In most cases of hyperuricemia and gout it’s related to kidney disease. So if you have hyperuricemia or gout, talk with your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease.

The good news is there are steps you can take to help prevent or slow kidney damage if you have CKD:

Quit smoking – smoking damages blood vessels throughout your body, including those in your kidneys.

Take prescribed medications as directed – take all medications as directed by your

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden, severe episodes of pain, swelling and tenderness in the joints. It’s caused by uric acid buildup in the bloodstream. Uric acid is a normal waste product that can be found in your bloodstream – but when kidneys aren’t functioning well and there’s more uric acid in the bloodstream than the kidneys can get rid of, a condition called hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) can occur. This buildup of uric acid (and elevated UA levels) can cause gout and painful crystals to form around the joints.

Gout affects more men than women — and as many as 8 million Americans have it, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Unfortunately, gout often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as another type of arthritis — and that means people may be left untreated or mistreated for something they don’t have. But what people do have is kidney disease, if they have gout.

What You Need to Know About Gout

Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the body — resulting in

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. It’s most often seen in the big toe, but it can affect other joints as well.

Gout occurs when there is too much uric acid (or urate) circulating in the body. Uric acid is a normal waste product that can be found in your bloodstream – but when kidneys aren’t functioning well and there’s more uric acid in the bloodstream than the kidneys can get rid of, a condition called hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) can occur. This buildup of uric acid (and elevated UA levels) can cause gout and painful crystals to form around the joints.

If gout crystals accumulate around joints, they create inflammation and swelling – which can result in severe pain and tenderness. In some cases, these crystals may also form kidney stones. All this pain may be accompanied by:

• redness

• stiffness

• fever

A healthy kidney can filter and remove uric acid through urine. But when the kidneys aren’t working well, uric acid can build up in the blood and cause a condition called hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels in the blood). This buildup of uric acid can cause gout, a type of arthritis that causes sudden attacks of severe joint pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.

Gout can develop in any joint. However, it most commonly affects the large joint of the big toe. More than 8 million Americans are estimated to have experienced a gout attack within the preceding year.

So how does gout affect your overall health? Left untreated, gout can result in permanent joint damage and poor kidney function. And people with untreated gout have twice the risk of dying from heart disease as do those who don’t have gout.

There is no cure for gout (which occurs when there is too much uric acid in your body), but there are treatments that may help you manage your condition.

How can you keep your kidneys healthy and reduce your risk of gout? Here’s how.

Maintain a healthy blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This puts extra stress on your kidneys, which can cause damage to them over time.

Watch what you eat. If you have kidney problems, limit how much protein you eat because the kidneys need to work hard to process it. In addition, try to avoid foods high in purines – like liver, beef and pork – and alcohol because these can raise your uric acid levels too.

Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise for 30-60 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure, reduce stress on the kidneys and help you maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts additional stress on the kidneys and increases uric acid levels in the blood.

Kidney stones are deposits of uric acid or calcium that form in the kidneys. Kidney stones can cause pain and other symptoms, such as blood in the urine, vomiting, and fever.

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes intense pain, redness and tenderness in joints, most often in the big toe. Over time, gout can permanently damage joints.

In addition to recurrent gout attacks and kidney stones, kidney disease is also a risk factor for kidney failure. In fact, people with gout have a higher incidence of chronic kidney disease than those without gout.


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