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Gouty Arthritis and Sleep Apnea: The Surprising Link You Need to Know

By    |   Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 05:45 PM

Research shows there is a link between gouty arthritis, or gout, and sleep apnea. Gout is a painful arthritis that begins in the big toe and is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly pauses and restarts during your sleep.

According to Gout and You, a small study in the late 1980s first tied the two disorders together. Sleep apnea lowers blood oxygen levels which in turn raises the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. Higher levels of carbon dioxide are associated with higher levels of uric acid, the culprit behind painful gout episodes.

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Another study in 2012 linked snoring, often a symptom of sleep apnea, and gout. Patients in the study who snored at least five nights each week had higher uric acid levels.

Harvard Health Publications asserts that while there is a link between sleep apnea and gout, the exact causal relationship is not known for certain.

In addition to drops in blood oxygen levels, there is another commonality: being overweight. Carrying excess weight increases your risk of developing both disorders. Losing weight will not only help ward off sleep apnea and gouty arthritis, but also countless other health concerns.

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Although the research may imply that treating sleep apnea can reduce the risk of developing gout, scientists like Yuqing Zhang, professor of medicine at Boston University, are not convinced. They assert that more research is necessary to investigate whether this assumption holds true.

As for gout, the first course of treatment is often through nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There are also diet and lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of the disease. For instance, reducing intake of red meat and seafood will keep uric acid levels in check, as will reducing your intake of alcohol and beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup, experts say.

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Research shows there is a link between gouty arthritis, or gout, and sleep apnea. Gout is a painful arthritis that begins in the big toe and is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly pauses and restarts during your sleep.
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2016-45-28
Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 05:45 PM
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