Gout is chief among the brutal inflammatory health conditions that a person may suffer. It manifests mainly on the big toe, but it may affect other joints as well. With gout, the affected joint becomes tender, swells, is painful, may reveal some redness, and feel warm or hot. Gout is prevalent, and many keep asking the question, “can you die from gout?” We will help you answer that question. Just read on.
Can you die from gout?
Yes and no. The yes applies where having gout increases the risk of death from the chronic risk factors or health conditions that may develop. The no applies whereby, if you suffer from gout and keep it under control through medication, it can be treated, and you won’t die from it. Gout will not directly kill you. However, it can lead to serious health problems that increase your risk of dying. Choosing to leave your gout untreated and not focusing on lowering the bloodstream’s uric acid levels also raises your death risk.
Gout and premature deaths
Studies have found that those with gout are at a higher risk of premature death than those that do not. Causes of gout play a significant role in mortality rates, and the occurrence of gout is linked to premature deaths. Why? You may ask. Gout is associated with the development of other health conditions that can cause eventual death.
Gout is associated with metabolic syndrome – a combination of metabolic and cardiovascular health risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, renal failure. Having these conditions puts you at a higher risk of death. These conditions are chronic and will all somehow be connected. They mainly occur alongside each other. Such a combination makes these conditions even more dangerous because they increase the risk of death.
If you have gout, you are at more significant risk for a heart attack or stroke. You can also suffer from insulin resistance, whereby there is a deterioration in the ability of the body to use insulin to reduce blood sugar. Hypertension can damage blood vessels in the kidneys and eventually cause renal failure. A diabetic patient is likely to suffer from high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. This can bring forth cardiovascular conditions. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk for a heart attack.
Untreated, chronic, or severe gout is a death risk
Mostly, gout is treatable with medications. However, the risk of death increases if it goes untreated to become chronic. This is usually evident, especially for those that take this inflammatory condition lightly. Some may view it as a simple intermittent episode of joint pain. The truth is that inflammation is always “busy” on the joints for gout patients. Inflammation keeps happening even when symptoms of acute gout improve. Simply having a chronic condition increases your risk for an earlier death. Those with gout need to receive urate-lowering medicine. However, only a small number of people get the treatment, and fewer stay on the medication consistently or long enough. Due to this, the uric acid crystals keep triggering the underlying and chronic inflammation.
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Gout and serum uric acid levels
Critical to improving a gout patient’s survival rate is reaching the recommended serum urate target- 3.4-7.0 for males and 2.4-6.0 mg/dl for females. Having more than the recommended level puts you at a greater risk of death. Due to that, medications to lower higher urate levels must be administered. Some previous studies reveal that the inability to reach the targeted serum urate level is independently a predictor of gout patient mortality.
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