Gout and Gall Bladder Disease – What You Really Need to Know!

Gout and gall bladder disease
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Gout is a form inflammatory type of arthritis that usually causes tender, hot, red and swollen joints. The commonly affected joint is the metatarsal-phalangeal joint which is located at the base of the big toe.

Gout is usually caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood that usually crystallizes forming tophi which is then deposited at the tendons, joints and several other tissues near the joints.

On the other hand, gall bladder disease is a phrase used to refer to several health conditions that affect the gall bladder. Gall bladder is a sac-shaped organ located under the liver. Gall bladder stores the bile which is produced from the liver and takes it to the small intestines.

Gout has several symptoms and its attacks are usually acute and commonly experienced at night.

Some of the gout symptoms include:

  • Redness and inflammation at the joints – Patients of gout experience tender, red and swollen joints in the areas they experience pain.
  • Severe joint pain – Patients of gout will experience sharp pain at the ankles, feet, wrists and hands. The commonly affected joint is the big toe. If you have gout you will feel a hot/warm sensation at the affected joints.
  • Fever – Some patients of gout will experience fever.
  • Purple-reddish skin – The affected area usually becomes red or purplish.
  • The skin becomes itchy – The skin around the affected area becomes itchy and later starts peeling.
  • The joints in the wrist and elbow start having nodules.
  • Lack of flexibility – The affected joints become stiff and their movement is limited making them harder to use.

Some patients of gout do not develop symptoms and this may lead to chronic condition.

Gall bladder

In gall bladder diseases, the symptoms depend with the type of the disease. Some of the diseases and symptoms are as follow:

1. Cholecystitis – This is one of the common forms of gall bladder diseases. Cholecystitis causes acute or chronic inflammation.

2. GallstonesGallstones usually develop when substances in the bile such as salts, cholesterol and Calcium form hard balls that end up blocking the passage to the bladder. This excess accumulation of salt in the bile can put you at risk of developing gout. Small ball will also form in the gall bladder in cases where the gall bladder is not able to empty completely.

Factors that can put you at risk of gallstones include:

  • Old age. People above the age of 60 are at risk of developing gall stones.
  • Taking medications that contain estrogen.
  • Taking high cholesterol and fat diet.
  • Being overweight.
  • Family history of the disease.
  • Women. Women have a high risk of developing gallstones compared to men.

3. CholedocholithiasisCholedocholithiasis causes nausea, fever and pain in the middle abdomen.

4. Sclerosing cholangitis – This is the inflammation and damage of the bile duct. Symptoms of sclerosing cholangitis include lack of appetite, weight loss* and enlarged spleen and liver.

5. Gangrene of the Gall Bladder – Gangrene occurs when the gallbladder stops* functioning because of inadequate blood flow. Inadequate blood flow occurs when the patient has had surgery, due to infection, injury, diabetes and other blood circulation related diseases.

6. Gall Bladder Abscess – Abscess occurs when the body area becomes inflated with pus. The common symptom of gall bladder abscess is pain at the upper right side of the abdomen.

Other gall bladder diseases include gallbladder polyps, acalculous gallbladder disease, chronic cholecystitis and acute cholecystitis.

Gout attacks can be contributed by several factors such as:

  • Having diet high in purine such as seafood, meat and organs meat.
  • Taking high fructose drinks
  • Regular use of aspirin
  • Tumor
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Drugs used by transplant patients such as cyclosporine
  • Surgery
  • Kelley Seegmiller syndrome
Gall Bladder Disease

Gall bladder disease can be diagnosed using abdominal examination such as checking the pain in the abdomen.

Gall bladder diseases can also be diagnosed using ultrasonography, chest and abdomen x-ray and physical examination

On the other hand gout can be diagnosed by use of blood test. Blood test is used to measure the levels of uric acid in the blood. This test is not conclusive because some people may have high uric acid levels in the blood but do not have gout symptoms while others may not have high levels of uric acid in the blood but have gout symptoms.

Another test that can be used to diagnose gout is joint fluid test. The joint fluid is usually collected and examined under a microscope to check the presence of urate crystals.
Gall bladder diseases can be treated using antibiotics but this will only be effective if the stones are not present. In cases of complicated condition, surgery can be performed. The surgery is usually aimed at removing* the gall bladder.

Gout can be treated using several medications. These include;

  • Steroids – Steroids usually help to relieve the patient from pain and inflammation.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – NSAIDs drugs are used to relieve joint pain. Examples of NSAIDs drugs used to treat* gout are naproxen and ibuprofen. These drugs have risk such as bleeding, ulcers and stomach pain especially when taken in high doses.
  • Colchicine – This drug is recommended to patients who cannot take NSAIDs. Major side effect of this drug is diarrhea.
  • Uloric – This drug is used to lower the levels of uric acid in the blood.

References

  • Stinton LM, Shaffer EA. Epidemiology of gallbladder disease: cholelithiasis and cancer. Gut and Liver. 2012;6(2):172–187.
  • Portincasa P, Ciaula AD, Bonfrate L, Wang DQ. Therapy of gallstone disease: what it was, what it is, what it will be. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2012;3(2):7–20.
  • Arromdee E, Michet CJ, Crowson CS, O’Fallon WM, Gabriel SE. Epidemiology of gout: is the incidence rising? J Rheumatol. 2002;29:2403-6. [PMID: 12415600].
  • Lin KC, Lin HY, Chou P. The interaction between uric acid level and other risk factors on the development of gout among asymptomatic hyperuricemic men in a prospective study. J Rheumatol. 2000;27:1501-5. [PMID: 10852278].

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Author

Expert Author : Beth Solomon (Consumer Health Digest)

Beth Solomon has been writing articles on health for more than two years with a concentration on pain management and men’s and women’s health and fitness. She has been a contributing editor to Consumer Health Digest since 2013.