The Gout and Mental Health Connection

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes painful swelling in and around the joints. But the pain often doesn’t stop there.

Many patients also struggle with their mental health. That’s why it’s important for gout patients to manage both the physical and mental aspects of the condition.

Stigma and Isolation

People often view gout as the result of poor diet and lifestyle choices, overlooking the primary role of high urate levels, which can stem from several factors beyond an individual’s control.

These include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Certain medical conditions, like chronic kidney disease

Still, the stigma around gout persists. That can leave patients feeling ashamed and embarrassed. This can make it difficult for gout patients to ask others for support and leave them isolated, worsening their mental health.

Finding Community

Many patients feel alone in their journey with gout, but there are over 9 million Americans living with this debilitating condition. Finding a supportive community is essential for improving mental health and stopping the stigma.

People living with gout can:

Sometimes patients may not feel comfortable sharing their diagnosis with family and friends due to stigma and the possibility of receiving unhelpful advice. In this case, thanking loved ones for showing concern, but letting them know you’d rather discuss your health with a doctor can be a good approach. It could also be beneficial to encourage them to learn more about gout so they can understand the condition and how to be helpful.

Seeking Treatment

The best way to take control of gout is by seeking treatment. Medication that manages pain, lowers uric acid levels and reduces the risk of further attacks is widely available. At the same time, patients should consider making an appointment with a mental health professional to tend to their mental wellbeing.

Always remember: If you don’t manage gout, it will manage you.