When we develop certain medical conditions, it’s natural to focus on the physical symptoms they’re known to bring on. But many different afflictions can also come at the detriment of our mental wellbeing, and it’s important not to neglect this crucial aspect of ill health. Ignoring our mental health when suffering from a physical problem will only make the situation worse, and could lead to other conditions being developed further down the road.
When people suffer from gout in particular, there are multiple ways their mental health can be affected as a result. In this post, we’ll look at some of the key mental health issues that are closely associated with gout, and discuss how you can address the problem to help manage any symptoms you do develop.
What is gout and what are the symptoms?
Gout is a type of arthritis characterised by severe pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. It most commonly affects the big toe, but can also affect the knees, ankles, and elbows. Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the bloodstream. When this happens, crystals form in the joints, causing severe pain and inflammation. Physical symptoms of gout include intense joint pain, redness and swelling in the affected joint, warm to touch skin around the affected area, and difficulty moving it.
Mental health issues linked to gout
While gout is often thought of as a physical health problem, recent research has shown that it may also be linked to mental health issues. It’s been suggested that people with gout are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. There are several possible explanations for these links.
For example, gout can be painful and debilitating, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Additionally, the medications used to treat gout can sometimes cause side effects that affect mood and cognition. Finally, gout is often associated with other health problems, such as obesity and arthritis, which themselves are also linked to mental health issues. This research underscores the importance of treating not just the physical symptoms of gout, but also the psychological impact of the condition.
How to manage the symptoms
If you have gout, you may be wondering what you can do to manage the condition and reduce your symptoms. The first step is to talk to your doctor about treatment options. They may prescribe medication to help reduce pain and inflammation.
You can also take steps at home to manage gout. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help flush out uric acid from the body. Avoiding foods high in purines can also help, as purines break down into uric acid in the body. And finally, try to maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can increase the risk of gout flare-ups. By following these tips, you can help to manage your gout and enjoy a better quality of life.
Many home remedies that can help combat the physical issues of gout will also naturally be beneficial to your mental health, whether you’re suffering from gout or not. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by making the correct diet and lifestyle choices, and you’ll be helping to give your body a boost to battle the problem.
Address the problem
Doing something about it sooner rather than later can help you to keep the condition from impacting too heavily on your mental health, which could prevent further problems from developing further down the line. If you’re concerned, be sure to talk to a medical professional about the ways it’s impacting your mental wellbeing, and you’ll be on the right path to overcoming these potential issues.