Gout and stress: how are they connected?
For years, doctors have been telling their gout patients that stress is a trigger for gout flare-ups. But is there any truth to this claim? Let’s take a closer look at the research to see if there is a direct connection between stress and gout.
According to a 2015 study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, psychological stress does not directly cause gout. However, the study did find that stress can indirectly contribute to gout by affecting factors like lifestyle choices and medication compliance.
For example, people who are stressed are more likely to make unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as eating junk food or skipping meals. They may also be less likely to take their gout medication as prescribed. These indirect effects of stress can lead to gout flare-ups.
The study also found that people with gout are more likely to experience psychological stress than those without the condition. This may be due to the chronic pain and disability associated with gout. The study’s authors concluded that “psychological interventions” may help reduce the impact of stress in people with gout.
So, while the research does not support a direct link between stress and gout, it does suggest that stress can indirectly contribute to gout flare-ups. If you have gout, managing your stress levels and making healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent flare-ups is important. Talk to your doctor about ways to cope with stress and manage your gout.
One suggestion we can give you is to search for a phone application that helps you manage gout by tracking your water intake and provides you with an option to build healthy habits in the long run.
1) Gout, anxiety, and depression in primary care: a matched retrospective cohort study (doi:10.3109/03009742.2015.1022215, PMCID: PMC4487555, PMID: 25962434)