Gout used to be known as the old mans, or rich person’s disease, however, gout is of a growing concern, especially for younger people. And although this may come as a surprise, the United Kingdom is among the hardest hit places in the world in terms of rising rates of gout. In fact, gout now affects one in forty people in the UK. And according to experts, the problem is awareness; or rather, lack thereof.
So with fear of the near epidemic rate of gout continuing to rise, the British Society for Rheumatology decided to update the guidelines given to doctors on how to treat gout patients.
And while you may not live in the United Kingdom, you can rest assured that this is sound advice. Here are some highlights from the report:
• Patients should be told that attacks of gout should be treated as soon as they occur.
• The importance of lowering rate levels during an attack should be known.
• During an attack, the affected joints should be rest thoroughly, elevated, and exposed to a cool environment
• Verbally and in writing, all doctors should provide a list of the causes and consequences of gout, tips on how to manage attacks, lifestyle suggestions on diet and alcohol consumption, as well as advice on obesity if it should apply.
• If overweight, patients should be advised on how and why they should lose weight.
• The importance of diet and exercise cannot be stressed enough. Discuss with patients the value of a well-balanced diet and how it can impact gout outcomes.
• Sugary foods and sweetened soft drinks should be avoided, as should the consumption of alcohol.
• High purine foods such as milk, low-fat yogurt, vegetable protein, and cherries should all be encouraged.
• Further risk of cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure, obesity, renal disease and diabetes should all be screened in gout patients.
At present, the growing rate of gout in the UK is now one in 14 men and one in 35 women. Given this alarming figure, it stands to reason that the UK has learned a thing or two about handling this painful condition, which is why they have been such a great resource to turn to.
Regardless of where you live in the world, the potential for gout is there, however, you can take some steps and follow these guidelines to hopefully successfully treat your gout, or to avoid getting it all together.Advertisement