ED and Gout
Gout—recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—causes swelling, inflammation, redness, warmth and pain in the affected joint. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 4% of Americans will develop gout at some point. For men with gout, erectile dysfunction (ED) is not only common, but also frequently quite severe.
How strong is the correlation?
A Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School study of 201 men found that of the 83 with gout, 76% had ED and 43% had severe ED. These numbers were significantly higher than those of the men without gout, of whom 52% had ED and 30% had severe ED.
Even after adjusting for other factors, such as age, obesity, depression, diabetes, hypertension, LDL cholesterol levels and renal function, the association between gout and ED was statistically significant.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Naomi Schlesinger, recommends that all men with gout get screened for ED, which may provide an opportunity to get early treatment.
Schlesinger also recommends that men with gout be checked for cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease, as not only is gout associated with the two, but also ED.
What are the stages of gout?
- Asymptomatic hyperuricemia: Uric acid levels in the blood are high and crystals are forming in the joint, but there are no symptoms yet.
- Acute gout:A “gout attack” often happens after something—such as heavy drinking—moves the crystals a bit. It causes pain that intensifies over 8 to 12 hours.
- Interval gout: The time between attacks when there’s no pain, but the gout is still there.
- Chronic gout: If this stage isn’t prevented with proper management, it can cause attacks to be more frequent and joints may become damaged. This stage develops when uric acid levels stay high over several years. Unlike acute gout, chronic gout may cause pain that doesn’t go away.
Men who have gout and experience ED may want to talk to their doctor about getting a prescription for drugs that help impotence, such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.