Openly talking to your doctor about medication and other facts of gout, will help you avoid letting your gout cause other issues in addition to the painful attacks you're already experiencing. The reason why it is important to be able to freely talk about your gout condition is because gout can cause depression.
Feeling depressed or down is a normal part of life and is experienced by most people from time to time. Everyone goes through bouts of apathy, despair, and exhaustion, a case of the blues that takes hold and doesn't let go. Depression can occur for many reasons, and poor health is one of the major causes. Therefore, if you're not careful, you can let your gout get you down.
How can gout cause depression?
- Painful attacks
- Not being able to use the affected joint during an attack
- Not being able to enjoy certain activities
- Avoiding foods you love eating because they can cause gout
- Knowing a gout attack can recur
How will you know if you are depressed? Signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling helpless and/or hopeless - feeling that a situation with never become better or change
- Loss of interest in everyday activities - no longer participating in hobbies and activities once enjoyed
- Significant weight loss or weight gain (a 5% increase or decrease in body weight in one month)
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (oversleeping)
- Feeling restless or sluggish
- Feeling exhausted and physically drained, even when doing simple tasks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritable - easily frustrated, annoyed or angered
- Feeling aches and pains - having headaches and gastrointestinal complaints (I.E. constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, etc.)
How can you treat depression related to gout? If you are feeling depressed, the following are a few self-help tips to aid you in eliminating the blues gout cause. Just remember that in order to successfully self-treat depression you need to want to recover from your condition and give it everything you've got. Therefore, you need to be practical, open-minded, and above all, be yourself!
Talk to someone supportive - Talk to a good friend, or talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have about your condition.
Research gout - Find out how you can treat and prevent gout attacks so you don't let gout cause symptoms that are painful or depressing.
Enjoy the food you eat - Just because you have to avoid certain foods rich in purines, doesn't mean that you can't enjoy eating anymore. Find out what foods are low in purines and are considered gout-friendly. Some examples include, chocolate, carbonated beverages, eggs, sugar, milk products, bread, grains cereals, rice, pasta, cheese, milk products, tomatoes, fruit, and some green vegetables. Use these foods to create healthy new recipes.
Exercise - Exercise helps blood flow thorough your body and improves circulation. Exercise also releases endorphins which make you feel better, improves your sense of well-being, and can help you avoid the negative feelings gout cause.
Take time to relax and avoid stress - You may be overworking yourself and your body. Tell yourself you deserve a break and take the time to do something you enjoy and focus on clearing your mind. For instance:
- Take a hot bath
- Listen to music
- Get a massage
- Spend time with a pet
- Read a book
- Write in a journal
- Take a walk and enjoy nature
- What a comedic movie or T.V. show
Finally, always remember that if you are suffering from prolonged depression (depression that lasts for months) due to a gout cause, or another issue, you should seek immediate medical attention before your depression moves beyond your control. Major depression is a mental illness that needs to be taken serious and treated. Therefore, you may be required to take medication such as antidepressants to help you overcome depression so you can move on with your life.