Gout And Sleep Apnea – Is There Any Connection?

By | April 16, 2020
sleep apnea and gout

Gout typically can be managed well, if you are on the right diet and if you have a healthy lifestyle. However, there is a second part of the story. Gout is linked with numerous diseases and conditions.

Scientists are still finding the links and they are testing the correlations between some, common disorders and gout. Usually, in these cases, a person should treat the disease or condition separately than gout. By doing this, the symptoms can be decreased.

What about gout and sleep apnea? Sadly, sleep apnea is another condition that has been linked to gout and the connection is solid. First, let me explain what sleep apnea is and how it is treated and then you can see the actual link and the solution.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which airways are collapsed for a short period of time during sleep. When this happens, a person will stop breathing for a few seconds. Then, breathing is continued.

There are three main types of sleep apnea. The first is when the problem itself is in the airways. The second type is when the problem is in the brain impulses that control breathing. The third type is the most severe and the one a person must start treating as soon as possible. It is the combination of the first two types!

The treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It is a machine that will force pressurized air via a hose and a mask into your airways. As such, it will keep them open while you sleep and there won’t be any symptoms.

The treatment itself is very successful. If you are planning to start with it, keep in mind that the mask must be extremely comfortable and there are no leaks while sleeping. You can choose between nasal masks or full face masks. Pick accordingly to your needs.

How gout and sleep apnea are connected?

Yes, the link between gout and sleep apnea does exist. This was discovered in a study that was published in the Arthritis & Rheumatology and it evaluated around 16.000 people who have sleep apnea and an additional 63.000 that has no condition.

The study deduced that people with gout have a 42% higher risk of developing gout. In the study, people without sleep apnea developed gout 2.6%, while those with sleep apnea were affected by 4.9%.

The highest risk was 2 years after sleep apnea was diagnosed. Surprisingly body weight had to links to gout. People with average weight were still affected by the condition and scientists have concluded that BMI is almost irrelevant in this case scenario.

Suggested article: Weight Loss And Gout (How And Why Weight Affects Gout?)

Keep in mind that the link is between sleep apnea and increased risk of gout but there are no actual data that suggest that sleep apnea causes gout in the first place.

Gout risk is increased due to the lack of oxygen while a person sleeps. Lack of oxygen will contribute to increased production of uric acid which will cause gout and a gout flare! This is the only connection that was discovered in the study.

What is the treatment?

As I have mentioned at the beginning, gout and sleep apnea are connected. The second fact is that each condition should be treated separately. In this case, you need to go to a doctor and ask for a sleep apnea therapy.

In almost every case, you will get CPAP therapy. It is based on the CPAP machine hence the name. I have already explained how this therapy works. With treatment, you can protect yourself from developing gout. After all, you won’t have a lack of oxygen that causes uric acid to spike.

If you are new to this, keep in mind that there are all kinds of CPAP machines out there. They are effective and do the same thing but with different, additional features. Beginners usually need a ramp feature that will start with low air pressure and gradually increase it while you sleep.

By treating gout and sleep apnea separately, you can get a satisfactory life quality. One part of the story is CPAP therapy while another is to treat gout with a proper diet and physical activity.

Suggested articles:
Gout And Exercise (Ideal Exercises For Gout Sufferers)
15 Triggers Of Gout (What Causes Gout?)
Top 8 Complications Of Gout – What To Expect?
Gout And Stress – Can Gout Be Caused By Stress?
Smoking And Gout – Does Smoking Affect Gout?

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