The Link Between Gout and Chronic Kidney Disease


Oct 31, 2023

The Link Between Gout and Chronic Kidney Disease

Managing Gout and Chronic Kidney Disease: A Comprehensive Guide


Understanding the relationship between gout and chronic kidney disease is more than just an academic exercise—it's essential for anyone grappling with either condition. Let's break down what gout is, how it's connected to kidney disease, and the actionable steps you can take to manage both.

Gout Explained

Gout is a condition that arises when uric acid accumulates in the bloodstream. Normally, uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and expelled through urine. However, when this system falters, either due to excessive uric acid production or inadequate kidney function, gout can occur. This condition is characterized by:

  • Painful, swollen joints caused by uric acid crystals
  • Severe cases leading to lumps under the skin, known as tophi
  • Tophi causing pain and potential disfigurement

The Gout - CKD Connection

High levels of uric acid can be a warning sign for kidney issues. If you have gout, it's crucial to also check your kidney function. Here's why:

  • Gout can be an indicator of underlying kidney disease
  • Untreated gout can lead to further kidney damage

Risk Factors You Should Know

Several elements can contribute to elevated uric acid levels. These include:

  • Diets rich in purines, commonly found in meats and seafood
  • Dehydration, which can concentrate uric acid
  • Obesity, which is linked to higher uric acid levels
  • Age, as older individuals are more susceptible
  • A family history of gout

Symptoms to Keep an Eye On

Gout manifests through various symptoms. Watch out for:

  • Swelling in the joints
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Redness around the affected area

The big toe is often the first joint to show symptoms, but gout can affect other joints over time.

Potential Complications

If gout is not managed effectively, it can lead to several complications:

  • Chronic arthritis affecting multiple joints
  • Formation of tophi in various parts of the body
  • Development of kidney stones
  • Progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Risk of kidney failure

Diagnostic Measures

Diagnosis involves a multi-pronged approach. Here are the tests commonly used:

  • Blood and urine tests to measure uric acid levels
  • Joint fluid tests to identify uric acid crystals
  • Imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scans, and MRIs for detailed analysis

For kidney disease, two key tests are generally recommended:

  • Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) to check kidney function
  • Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (ACR) to detect protein in urine

Treatment Approaches

Medication Options

For treating gout, various medications are available:

  • NSAIDs or colchicine for immediate relief from gout flares
  • Long-term treatments like allopurinol, febuxostat, and probenecid to manage uric acid levels

Lifestyle Changes to Consider

Lifestyle modifications can also play a significant role:

  • Limiting consumption of high-purine foods
  • Staying adequately hydrated
  • Managing other health conditions that can exacerbate gout

Supplements: Proceed with Caution

Before taking any supplements, consult your healthcare provider. Some supplements can:

  • Adversely affect kidney function
  • Interact negatively with other medications

Lowering Your Risk: Preventive Measures

To minimize your risk of developing either condition, consider the following:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Engaging in regular physical activity
  • Controlling blood pressure and sugar levels
  • Avoiding NSAIDs and certain herbal supplements
  • Abstaining from smoking


The relationship between gout and kidney disease is complex but manageable with the right approach. Regular testing and a comprehensive treatment plan can help you manage both conditions effectively. If you're dealing with one, don't ignore the other. Being proactive and informed is your best defense.

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Gout and Kidney Disease

About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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