Gout and high blood pressure: What you need to know

Gout and high blood pressure can be a particularly dangerous combination. This is due to gout already causing the body’s tissues and joints to swell, and this may cause gout attacks which gout victims find hard to put up with. The joint pain associated with gout means that people suffering from gout may end up bed-ridden for several days, and gout pain can also last for several months.

High blood pressure is the medical term used to describe an increase in blood pressure above normal levels. Elevated blood pressure puts extra strain on the heart, which has to work harder than normal to pump the increased volume of blood around the body. As gout sufferers are more likely to suffer from gout attacks and gout pain, their quality of life can be severely affected. Furthermore, gout patients who also have high blood pressure are more likely to fall ill with gout-related problems such as gouty arthritis.

In this blog post, you will learn several things about gout and hypertension for elderly people.

What is gout?

Gout is a metabolic disease caused by high levels of uric acid in your blood. It causes sudden attacks of arthritis, most often in the big toe but it can also affect other joints such as the heels, instep, ankles, knees or wrists. Gout can affect men and women at any age but is most common over the age of 40.

Gout can be extremely painful that could wake you up in the middle of the night. Even with a slight bedsheet covering your big toe can be intolerable.

What is high level of uric acid levels mean?

Uric acid is a nitrogenous waste product that is created when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in many different foods, including seafood, red meat, and alcohol. When there is too much uric acid in the blood, it can crystallize and form deposits in the joints, which can cause gout.

Serum uric acid is the level of uric acid in your blood. It is a measure of how much uric acid is in your blood circulation at any given time. High serum uric acid levels are signs that you may have gout, and it can also be a sign of other health problems such as diabetes or kidney disease. You should consider performing serum uric acid measurement with your doctor to define uric acid levels in your blood.

Also check 10 habits to lower uric acid levels naturally

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Some of the best foods to lower uric acid level are green leafy vegetables, cherries, and other fruits. These foods contain antioxidants and other nutrients that can help the body get rid of uric acid crystals. Other healthy foods that can help reduce uric acid levels include nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Gout Symptoms?

The symptoms of gout are sudden attacks of red, hot, swollen joints which are extremely painful. There may also be fever and chills with gout symptoms. It’s more common to get gout in your feet and mid-section but gout can also appear in other parts of the body.

There are several ways to tell if you are having a gout attack. The most common signs are sudden pain, swelling, and redness in one or more of your joints. You may also experience fever, chills, and general feelings of illness. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away. He or she will be able to diagnose gout and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

What are the causes of gout?

Gout causes are related to the amount of uric acid that is produced by your body. If you have high uric acid levels then gout is more likely to develop. It’s not known why gout causes people to produce higher levels of uric acid. Sometimes gout causes can also come from eating too many foods high in purines, certain medical conditions or taking some medications. Gout can also be caused by high level of alcohol intake (above 3-4 units per day), too much animal protein or purine rich foods such as red meat or seafood.

How is gout treated?

The gout treatment will depend on the gout causes and its symptoms. Your gout treatment may involve medication (such as colchicine) or lifestyle changes to reduce uric acid levels. The gout treatment can also include allopurinol, febuxostat or probenecid, which are also medications that reduce the production of uric acid. Gout attack gout treatment is also important and most gout victims will require anti-inflammatory medication to ease gout pain.

gout attack on hypertension
Gout attack tips for hypertension person

What are gout side effects?

Common gout side effects include rash, itchiness and stomach irritation. Side effects of gout gout medications can also include nausea or diarrhoea.

Gout treatment and gout medications often come with side effects which you need to be aware of before taking them. Some gout patients will have an allergic reaction to gout medication so it’s important to know gout side effects before starting gout treatment.

Is gout hereditary?

Yes, gout is hereditary. Gout can be passed down through families and this means gout isn’t something you catch from other people. If gout is hereditary, your gout treatment may not be as effective.

Is gout contagious?

No, gout is NOT contagious and cannot be passed onto anyone else. Once you have had a gout attack it’s unlikely to get another gout attack for several years. Some gout patients may experience gout attacks more regularly and this will depend on the gout cause, symptoms and gout treatment.

Elevated blood pressure can be caused by gout attacks and gout flares. Gout can also worsen (aggravate) hypertension and increase the risk of other health conditions which will cause your blood pressure to be very high.

What is the risk of gout associated with high blood pressure

Having hypertension can increase higher risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Many gout sufferers also have hypertension which is why it’s important to get gout treatment for both conditions. You’ll need to monitor your risk factors including weight, diet and smoking as well as keeping a close eye on uric acid.

How can you control high blood pressure if you have gout flares

Lowering your blood pressure is important for gout sufferers who have hypertension. Some gout treatments can lower your blood pressure which will help to reduce changes for a heart attack, kidney disease and other conditions which are associated with high blood pressure. Lower uric acid levels is also a key to avoid triggering gout flares. Lifestyle changes including diet and exercise are also important to manage gout, to reduce the signs of gouty arthritis and to improve general health.

Foods that help control hypertension

Now that you understand more on gout and high blood pressure, let’s move on to understand how can you improve and control your high blood pressure and what foods to help fight hypertension.

Here are fruits and vegetables that are best food for those suffering from high blood pressure:

Garlic

This herb has compounds that provide significant protection against the development of hypertension . It is very low in calories and its flavor is perfect to add a little spice to your meals. Naturally, we also see that garlic is being used in many typical american diet.

Olive oil

One of the best oils to be used when cooking, not only because it has a great taste but because it reduces blood pressure levels effectively. Like garlic, American diet typically includes olive oil in their cooking too.

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Honey

This sweetener has been widely used throughout history, and new studies have proven that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect us from many diseases. One of the best benefits is its ability to reduce blood pressure levels effectively.

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Beetroot

One of my favorite vegetable. Beetroot fights high blood pressure thanks to a pigment called betalain, which reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol.

Watermelon

This fruit is rich in potassium, which helps to balance fluids and minerals in the body. It also has proteins that help control blood pressure levels. You won’t really find this in typical american diet but most Asian countries love watermelon as they are easily grown thanks to their warmer climate.

Black pepper

Are you tired of bland food? This ingredient will make your dishes much more flavorful without increasing your sodium levels intake.

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Papaya

The enzymes contained in this fruit reduce excess cholesterol and triglycerides, which are responsible for high blood pressure . Also, the essential amino acids contained in papaya improve muscle function.

Tomatoes

This is another fruit that helps reduce bad cholesterol levels. It also has antioxidative properties, which are very useful for controlling hypertension.

Carrots

This vegetable is rich in beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals, reducing the risk of high blood pressure .

Asparagus

The vegetable helps reduce high levels of bad cholesterol, which is a key factor in developing hypertension. It also has potassium and phosphorus, minerals that are essential for controlling the heart rate.

Avocado

This ingredient can lower blood pressure by up to 10%. It also has essential nutrients that are easily digestible.

Chocolate

This delicious ingredient contains antioxidants known as flavonoids, which help reduce oxidative stress. This is important because oxidative stress is a major factor in developing hypertension . To get the most benefits of chocolate, you should eat dark chocolate with at least 70% of cocoa.

Walnuts

They are rich in magnesium, which helps with muscle relaxation and blood vessel dilation. This is important because when the vessels relax, the heart does not need to work as hard to pump blood through the body and thus increasing chance to stop hypertension.

Oatmeal

This ingredient lowers blood pressure by relaxing the arteries and veins. It also contains magnesium, which helps increasing chance to stop hypertension.

Pine nuts

These nuts contain a nutrient called pinolenic acid, that reduces inflammation and keeps cholesterol levels under control.

Carob powder

This is an excellent substitute for cocoa, coffee and chocolate. It is much healthier and does not contain caffeine, so it is perfect for those who want to stop hypertension.

Beans

Apart from being a great source of protein and fiber, beans also help reduce cholesterol levels and fight bad bacteria in the body. This prevents plaque from building up inside arteries that can lead to high blood pressure. You can easily find beans in any typical American diet.

Salmon

Besides being one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, this fish also contains niacin, which helps increase good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. Although not your typical American diet, if you decide to cooking please avoid using butter or oil because they can be very dangerous for people with hypertension.

Cinnamon

This is a powerful spice that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 30%. It also helps reduce inflammation.

Green tea

It contains catechins antioxidants that help control hypertension . It is important to drink at least two cups a day because it has the highest levels of antioxidants.

Ham

People with hypertension should avoid eating too much red meat, but you can replace it with lean white meat such as ham. This ingredient, a typical American diet, contains proteins and vitamins that help control high blood pressure .

Flax seeds

Apart from being a great source of fiber and protein, flax seeds also contain omega 3 fatty acids, which help control blood pressure.

Yogurt

This food contains essential nutrients that can help lower hypertension , including magnesium, potassium and vitamin B12. Each 8-ounce serving of yogurt can have up to 40% of the daily value for vitamin B12, which helps regulate blood pressure .

Berries

These are low in calories and rich in antioxidants that help fight hypertension . They also contain potassium, magnesium and fiber.

On the other hand, you will want to avoid foods that are associated with elevated pressure on your blood. This includes salt intake as higher salt intake affect gout flares. Similarly, you should also watch out on your sodium intake as well. Here are some pointers:

  • Avoid processed foods, which contain high sodium and as you know you need to lower your sodium levels.
  • Do not add salt to your food
  • Avoid adding unnecessary level of condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, and salad dressing
  • Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned foods.
  • Add flavor to your food with herbs and spices instead of salt.

If you have high blood pressure, you may also need to limit the amount of sugar containing beverages and caffeine that you consume each day. Caffeine can increase your heart rate, which affects your blood pressure levels. This includes caffeinated sodas, coffee, tea, or energy drinks.

Conclusion

If you have gout, hypertension can be a major risk factor for serious health conditions like heart disease or kidney disease. Gout sufferers should lower their blood pressure and lower their uric acid levels to reduce the risk of future attacks as well as other related diseases such as stroke. But lowering your blood pressure is only one part of the equation – it’s also important that you lower your gout symptoms by following an appropriate diet and exercise routine (with guidance from your doctor) which will help prevent further attacks and improve general health.

food to avoid for gout and hypertension person
Hypertension food to avoid for reducing chance of gout attack.

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