Connection Found Between Sleep Apnea And Gout Flare-Ups

A study published in the December 2015 issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology reports a newly discovered connection between sleep apnea and gout. This is due to the increased accumulation of uric acid in the body when a person has sleep apnea.

The one-year study used records from the British health database to compare 9,865 people with sleep apnea to a control group of 43,598. Analysis showed that people with sleep apnea were approximately 50 percent more likely to experience gout.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition where a person stops breathing during sleep, resulting in periods of oxygen deprivation. There are two types: obstructive sleep apnea, which is due to a collapse of the soft tissues in the throat, and central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to send the signals necessary for breathing.

Understanding gout

Gout most commonly occurs in the big-toe joint, but may happen elsewhere in the body as well. Deposits of uric acid crystals in the joints and tissues cause intense pain. This condition is diagnosed at an average age of 60 years.

How sleep apnea increases gout risk

When the body is deprived of oxygen during an episode of sleep apnea, more uric acid collects in the bloodstream due to tissue damage and cellular breakdown. Sleep apnea also increases cellular mechanisms that make the crystallization of uric acid more likely. Overall, these conditions are more frequently observed in those who are overweight or obese, and are linked to many other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Natural solutions for sleep apnea and gout

Sleep Apnea - Printed Diagnosis. Medical Concept.Diet and lifestyle changes are very powerful in dealing with both of these conditions. To reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea, try exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet and losing any excess weight. Quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sedative drugs, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can also make a big difference. 

While relieving sleep apnea is thought to help fight gout, there are other natural approaches that can prevent this painful condition as well. Cutting the consumption of processed foods that contain sugar and high fructose corn syrup is very important to reduce uric acid production, as is the removal of alcohol. Substitute these destructive habits with an anti-inflammatory diet rich in vegetables and clean protein. Natural remedies such as tart cherries and cayenne cream are good options to relieve pain in the meantime. 

You don’t have to suffer from sleep apnea and its nasty sidekick, gout. Take control with simple diet and lifestyle changes — and powerful natural remedies!

—Liivi Hess

Liivi is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is training to become a doula. She inspires women to find peace and personal power by taking control of health and fertility naturally. Liivi‘s passion is ancestral nutrition and primal lifestyle design. She and her partner Will live between Toronto, Canada and Queenstown, New Zealand.



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