Whether or not we want to admit it, stress can play a key factor in how healthy we will feel on a daily basis.
The normal functions of the human body, including the digestive and waste systems, can be negatively affected by stress.
Whenever a person goes through stress, Vitamin B5 is actually being depleted from the body. It is this vitamin that helps the body excrete excess uric acid.
The links that stress and gout share may have gone overlooked by many, but thanks to research some of those links have been uncovered.
Stress is a normal part of everyday life, and it comes from various physical causes like being unable to get enough sleep or having an illness.
Being in a weak emotional state also causes stress.
The warning signs that indicate one has stress include aches and pains, decreased energy and sleep, impatience, forgetfulness, and feelings of anxiety, anger and depression.
Even minor forms of stress can enable the body to experience heart problems like a worsened blood flow to the heart muscle.
The Many Links Between Stress and Gout
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is especially concerning as some people develop this disorder after experiencing events that were shocking, terrifying or dangerous.
PTSD affects sleep as one of the symptoms a person will re-experience at times will be bad dreams.
Having difficulty sleeping is one main arousal symptom of PTSD. Feeling tense or having angry outbursts are also key arousal symptoms to look out for.
Insomnia and excessive sleepiness during the day around a month after a traumatic event are key indicators in a person’s development of PTSD.
Sleep apnea can possibly intensify PTSD symptoms, which include sleepless nights and bad dreams.
While sleep apnea has its connections with PTSD, this sleep disorder also connects with gout attacks.
According to a study that involved 16,000 people with sleep apnea and over 63,000 people who didn’t have it, there were significant numbers of report on how many people developed gout.
4.9% of those with sleep apnea ended up developing gout, and these patients were found to have a 42% higher risk of experiencing gout attacks.
Specifically one to two years after being diagnosed with sleep apnea, there was the increased risk in patients.
It is confirmed by doctors with around 40 years of medical experience that stress makes a legitimate impact on the human body.
Dr. Robert Stewart states that emotional stress produces various changes in the body, and that if it occurs too often or lingers for too long, these changes caused by stress can push the body too hard and cause dysfunction.
Dr. Harold Mandel notes that along with stress, conditions such as untreated high blood pressure can also produce uric acid, which leads to gout attacks.
Stress is a Mental Battle First
Before the effects of stress can be felt physically, it is always developed first mentally.
For those who suffer from extreme mental stress for long periods of time, it wouldn’t be a coincidence for anyone to experience a gout attack when stress started to kick in.
Especially when dealing with stress and gout at the same time it is not recommended to have a diet that includes red meats, fowl or fish for food nor any alcoholic beverages.
Various meats are high in purine, which enable uric acid productivity, while alcohol slows down a person’s metabolism and affects uric acid levels in the blood.
Various parts of your body can be negatively affected if your physical reactions to stress go left unchecked.
It is possible that uncontrolled stress can lead to kidney damage. The kidneys are a person’s blood filtering units, and high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels can give the kidneys trouble.
If you happen to develop kidney disease then you put yourself at a greater risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease as well.
Those who have experience dealing with gout attacks would know that protecting the kidneys is a good way of avoiding gout.
If your kidney isn’t functioning well then you will be vulnerable to a gout attack.
Possible Remedies to Consider
Side effects of stress and anxiety include nausea and upset stomach, and one way to relieve these effects would be to drink ginger tea.
Paul Bedson, author of the book “The Complete Family Guide to Natural Healing”, states that drinking ginger tea two to three times a day will calm a person’s stomach.
Ginger tea can also improve functions in the immune system, relieve sore throats, and help increase circulation.
Ginger tea is best when boiled for at least half an hour.
Another beverage to consider drinking to treat stress would be coffee.
According to a 2005 study in Switzerland, patients with stress-induced high blood pressure were affected differently by habitual drinking of coffee.
This study revealed that in stressful situations for non-drinkers blood pressure actually rose.
However, regular coffee drinkers didn’t have their blood pressure affected by stress, but the coffee rather provided a calming effect.
If you happen to have a normal daily routine of drinking at least one cup of coffee you will experience the benefits this drink provides in protection from gout attacks.
Caffeinated coffee is recommended for consumption as part of a healthy diet. Coffee is rich in caffeine, which can reduce the risk of gout through xanthine oxidase inhibition.
While ginger and coffee are reassuring bridges between stress and gout, there is another remedy that doesn’t need to be digested to help treat a person’s gout attacks.
Though not a real salt, Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate compound that has been used as a healing agent and pain reliever for centuries.
A good source for joint protein can be found in the sulfates that are in Epsom salt.
When Epsom salt dissolves in warm or hot water, the magnesium and sulfate can be easily absorbed through the skin.
It is recommended to add ½ a cup of Epsom salt to the warm water and have your feet soak for 30 to 60 minutes two times a week.
Whenever a person suffers from stress, magnesium is sure to be depleted, and when there is a lack of magnesium in the body physical productivity suffers as well.
The common links between how one manages stress and how one manages gout attacks reside in eating healthier foods that don’t have much sugar, fructose or fats and maintaining a regular exercise schedule to stay physically active.
One of the best ways to overcome physical setbacks such as gout attacks would be for you to improve your mental and emotional conditions first.
Instead of worrying about what will happen tomorrow and thinking of many ways to fix complicated problems, stepping back and relaxing with soothing drinks or soaking your aching feet and joints with Epsom salt in warm water should have your attention for the day.
You need to have the right mindset before you can repair your body, especially if it’s a combination of stress and gout.
Treat yourself to something that you know will put you in a good mood.
Talking to a friend or loved one and writing down your problems and thinking about how to solve them are good ways to help relieve your stress.
When you keep your stress in check, your gout becomes more manageable.