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

Gout: Lack of sleep can increase your risk.

Gout is essentially the most common variety of inflammatory arthritis and affects greater than 8 million adults. Men are more in danger than women. And in keeping with a recent study, if you happen to suffer from sleep deprivation, you're also at increased risk of gout, a condition where your respiratory stops repeatedly when you sleep.

What exactly is gout?

Gout begins with the crystallization of uric acid inside the joints. It happens like this: Your body produces uric acid by breaking down purines, a natural waste product of living cells. Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine.

However, sometimes your body makes an excessive amount of uric acid or excretes too little. This causes uric acid to accumulate and needle-like urate crystals to form within the joint or surrounding tissue. The result: sudden flare-ups that cause severe pain, inflammation, swelling, and redness.

While the massive toe joint is essentially the most commonly affected area, gout can occur in any joint, including your ankles, knees, hands, and wrists. Episodes can last from a number of days to several weeks.

For the study, I used to be published. Arthritis and Rheumatology, The researchers compared individuals with and without sleep apnea through records in a British health database. They chosen a complete of 9,865 individuals with sleep apnea (average age 54 years) and matched them with a “control” group of 43,958 people without the disorder. After one yr, individuals with sleep apnea were about 50 percent more prone to have a gout attack than the control group.

Another theory could also be related to hypoxia, a complication of sleep apnea that causes an individual's oxygen levels to drop during sleep. “This can cause tissue damage and cell breakdown, both of which can raise uric acid levels,” says Dr. Schmerling.

Even if you happen to're not sleep-deprived, your risk of a gout attack increases at night – gout attacks are twice as prone to occur at night or early within the morning. The important reasons for this are the low body temperature and dehydration that happens when you sleep. “Crystals are more likely to form at low temperatures, and dehydration can prevent excess uric acid from being excreted from the body,” says Dr. Schmerling.

Treatment of gout

Gout might be diagnosed by testing the fluid within the joint for the extent of urate crystals. The level of uric acid in your blood can even help diagnose gout – the upper the extent, the upper your risk.

Dr. Schmerling says that for sudden, severe attacks, the primary line of treatment is medication. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) similar to ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), and prescription NSAIDs similar to indomethacin (Indocin) or celecoxib (Celebrex). Colchicine and corticosteroids can even help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Diet and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of a second attack. Avoid beef and seafood (which might raise uric acid levels) and limit alcohol consumption, in addition to drinks with high fructose corn syrup. Stay well hydrated and follow an exercise program to assist shed extra weight. Try adding uric acid-lowering foods to your weight loss program, including coffee (caffeinated or decaf) and cherry juice. It also helps to extend your vitamin C intake through supplements or foods similar to bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries and oranges.

What to do

Research has not yet confirmed whether treating sleep deprivation will reduce your risk of gout, but it surely's price discussing together with your doctor, as sleep deprivation has been linked to other serious health problems. , including heart disease, hypertension and stroke. There are some ways to treat sleep deprivation – and doing so can have many health advantages.