Monday, December 28, 2009

Is Sweating Good for Gout?

by Christian Parlade

The answer is a qualified "yes".

Gout is caused by the extended elevation of uric acid (UA) level in the body. Therefore, any process that helps excrete uric acid should help. Urination and perspiration are such processes.

So why is it a qualified yes?

A key concept to remember is that dehydration increases the concentration of UA. That's why we consistently find drinking lots of water as a gout treatment.

Another concept to remember is that urination is a lot more efficient at excreting uric acid that perspiration. At a glance, sweat has 99% water while urine has 95% water. Sweat is said to contain uric acid, urea and lactic acid, among others. How does this tie in?

Given the same water intake, a person that sweats more will urinate less. That situation could actually push UA concentration higher. The key is to always be hydrated. The net effect you'd want to have is to urinate the same or more AND to sweat the same or more. Both urination and perspiration serve to eliminate toxins so increasing their output is generally helpful to the body.

Does this mean a heavy workout will help gout?

Well, not really. I was just talking about heat induced perspiration (weather, sauna, etc). Strenuous exercise can actually increase UA production and will thus be counter productive. On a related note, keep in mind too that warm weather makes uric acid more soluble. So while you're sweating, the warmth is also benefiting your condition in another way.


  1. This is a great blog, Thanks for all the information I'll refer to the blog often. I'll pass it on to my friends also.

  2. That's nice of you to say. If you have info that I don't have yet, just pass it on too.

  3. Hello there nice post!
    my Dad has gout I'll let him try sweating it out when he has gout flare ups

  4. Thank you! Remember to keep hydrated though.

  5. I have an FIR or far infrared sauna. About 2 weeks ago I used it two days in a row after indoor cycling and the next thing I know I have a gout attack. I guess I did not rehydrated enough while sweating and that cause my uric acid to elevate. Now, my question is, what is the relation of passing urine thru kidney and just be sweating? Is there a mechanism that triggers the kidney that it is excreting urea and uric acid thru passing via urine? What I meant is, why when I sweat my kidney does not think of it as excreting urea and uric acid by means urinating and therefore elevate my uric acid?

  6. Hi Benny. Thanks for dropping by. I think there's no urea in sweat because it doesn't go through the kidneys like urine.

  7. My experience backs all you say. I perspire big time, whether i'm running or working out in the gym. I find that it is very critical to stay really hydrated.

    There is one thing that you haven't mentioned and is critical to know. When I was overweight, i had high BP. The BP medicine I was on worked through the kidneys and worked against me because I couldn't stay hydrated because the meds were causing me to constantly eliminate. I know the sweating and urination are beneficial; i also know that water is the best thing to take in. I think sodium heavy drinks are not good.

    The moral to the story is to reduce weight to stay off BP meds, and if you do have to take them, look for a medication that doesn't dehydrate. I've been very "body aware" for the past two years. I modified my diet to an extreme, adopted a very healthy lifestyle with a strict fitness regimen. I haven't had an attack in over a year and a half. No longer take allopurinol.