Any Hope For Gout Joint Damage?

In Any Hope For Gout Joint Damage, I explain how joints damaged by gout might be impossible to repair. Above all, I warn against allowing gout to damage your joints. Because gout joint damage is much easier to prevent than repair.

Gout Joint Damage Audience

I wrote Gout Joint Damage for Gout Victims. Because gout sufferers who do not control excess uric acid suffer needlessly. So, I want you to understand the dangers of untreated excess uric acid. If you want to know more about your gout sufferer type, read Questions for Gout Sufferers first.

Gout Joint Damage

All too often, gout management is focused too much on pain relief, with too little emphasis on uric acid management.

Failure to correct high concentrations of uric acid, which is the root of all gout pain, leads to damage to joints (osteoarthritis). This, in turn, leads to the question, “Can anything be done to help repair gout-damaged joints?”

More specifically a reader asked:

Was wondering if anyone had some info on glucosamine supplements in regard to helping to heal the damage done by years of gout.

Well, there is information available, but the results are not encouraging. Though the British Medical Journal has had responses to the following report that raise some questions about the conclusions, the hope of joint repair through supplementation does seem very doubtful. Because in a 2010 damaged joints study[1], Warner & colleagues conclude:

Compared with placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not reduce joint pain or have an impact on narrowing of joint space. Health authorities and health insurers should not cover the costs of these preparations, and new prescriptions to patients who have not received treatment should be discouraged.

Prevent, Not Repair, Gout Joint Damage

They also note that:

Our findings indicate that glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not result in a relevant reduction of joint pain nor affect joint space narrowing compared with placebo. Some patients, however, are convinced that these preparations are beneficial, which might be because of the natural course of osteoarthritis, regression to the mean, or the placebo effect. We are confident that neither of the preparations is dangerous. Therefore, we see no harm in having patients continue these preparations as long as they perceive a benefit and cover the costs of treatment themselves. Coverage of costs by health authorities or health insurers for these preparations and novel prescriptions to patients who have not received other treatments should be discouraged.

I do not know if there are other effective treatments for reversing gout damage. But common sense dictates that you should see your doctor immediately about uric acid lowering gout medications before permanent joint damage occurs.

Your Gout Joint Damage

Focusing only on short-term gout pain relief leaves you in danger of permanent joint damage. So, make sure you control uric acid properly and keep it safe. But, if you want more personal help, please ask in the gout forums.

Gout Joint Damage References

  1. Wandel, Simon, et al. “Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis.” Bmj 341 (2010): c4675. GoutPal Members might be able to download Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Joint Damage.

Any Hope For Gout Document Change History

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TL;DR - Any Hope For Gout Joint Damage?

Any Hope For Gout Joint Damage?
  1. Untreated high uric acid leads to permanent joint damage.
  2. Once gout has damaged joints it might not be possible to reverse the damage.
  3. Prevent gout joint damage by lowering uric acid before joint damage occurs.

If you need help with any of those, ask in GoutPal's Gout Forum.

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Medical Disclaimer: The pupose of GoutPal is to provide jargon-free explanations of medical gout-related terms and procedures. Because gout sufferers need to know what questions to ask their doctor. Also, you need to understand what your doctor tells you. So this website explains gout science. But it is definitely NOT a substitute for medical advice.

Information on this website is provided by a fellow gout sufferer (Keith Taylor) with an accountant's precision for accurate data. But no medical qualifications. So you must seek professional medical advice about gout and any other health matters.

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