Does Gout Make You Tired?

Fatigue is common condition, especially in these busy lives. But it can be different than usual tiredness if there is a certain health condition behind this symptom. Fatigue-related to specific health problem can be intense and often overwhelming. How about in gout? Does this kind of arthritis make you tired, too?

Unusual fatigue can be a symptom of many health conditions

From mild injury to systematic disorders related to autoimmune disease can cause fatigue. In other words, it is a vague symptom – though there are also specific conditions characterized by fatigue.

image_illustration239Some people confuse the differences between drowsiness and fatigue. Generally, fatigue is a condition of when the body has lack of energy, typically characterized by the feeling of tiredness or even extremely tiredness.

It is different from drowsiness, a condition that is usually caused by lack of sleep. Both drowsiness and careless to what happen around you (this is called apathy) can be the symptoms along with fatigue.

Fatigue itself is commonly considered harmless and common. It is a response of the body to physical activity, sleep deprivation, boredom, or psychological condition (such as emotional stress).

But again, it’s also important to understand whether it is as a normal body’s response or a sign of certain health problem.

Fatigue usually improves with getting adequate sleep, good stress control, and good nutrition. But if it doesn’t improve with these lifestyle measures, it should be evaluated by your physician.

The pattern of the symptom may help your physician to diagnose the cause, though additional procedures /test may be required for the diagnosis.

For instance, if you are often easier to feel tired in you daily routines even though you have plenty of sleep, it may signal hypothyroidism (under active thyroid). If you wake up in the morning with fatigue that lasts throughout the day and followed with feeling of low energy, it may point to depression.

Does gouty arthritis make you tired?

Feeling of tiredness in fatigue is common in inflammatory arthritis, especially such as rheumatoid arthritis (a joint disease linked to the autoimmune disorder). Gout is a kind of inflammatory arthritis, too.

The main symptoms of gout include joint pain (mostly), tenderness, redness, and swelling (tophi) in the affected joint. But sometimes, fatigue can be a secondary symptom.

*For in-depth information about the symptoms of gouty arthritis and how this joint disease progresses from the first onset to the advanced stage, see this post!

Dietary purines

The high consumption of dietary purines can be a starting point for people whose high tendency to have gout to experience their first gout attack. If you are diagnosed with this joint disease, your diet is mainly focused to restrict foods containing high purines.

Purines are the fuel for the blood uric acid level to rise. They are a protein that can be found in some foods, though your body also can naturally produce them for a specific use.

In the body, this protein will break down to become uric acid. Normally, excess uric acid will be removed through kidneys and go away with urine. But if there is too much uric acid in the blood or when the kidneys are poor in performance, the body can fail to regulate the normal level of this acid.

The high accumulation of this acid in the bloodstream can promote deposits of crystals (called urate crystals). These crystal build-ups can stay in some parts of the body such as some joints and urinary tract.

How does gouty arthritis make you tired?

So in gout, the key is the movement of urate crystals into the joint fluid and making some buildups of needle-like crystals in the joint. The body defense system, especially neutrophils (white blood cells), responds this condition by releasing cytokines, inflammatory chemicals.

But as the body tries removing these crystals, the inflammation occurs. Typically, it is followed by classic symptoms of inflammation such as redness, heat, pain, and swelling. This cycle can trigger the body to release more neutrophils, accelerating the inflammatory process.

Then, what’s the link to fatigue?

The increased production of cytokines will likely contribute to fatigue. This tends to contribute to other symptoms such as lethargy and asthenia, too.

What you should do for coping?

Some prescription medicines are available to cope with feeling of tiredness /fatigue due to gout – ask your doctor /physician for more guidance! Along with this option, some home remedies can help. These include:

  1. Getting plenty of rest and sleep! This can be the most effective of natural healing option to cope with fatigue.
  2. Stick with healthy diet and make sure to control your dietary purines!
  3. Keep active by doing regular exercise. If you are less active or becoming a sedentary individual, this can worse your fatigue problem.
  4. Control your emotional stress as well! As written before, stress can have contribution to make you get tired easier.
  5. Avoid smoking!
  6. If you drink, do it only in moderation. But for best outcome of your gout, avoid alcohol (especially beer since it has greater amount of purines than other alcoholic beverages)! See also the link between alcohol and gout in this section!
Citations /references:

  1. http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/fatigue
  2. http://www.hss.edu/conditions_fatigue-and-inflammatory-arthritis.asp