Gout most often afflicts those in midlife – Michigan News

Gout most often afflicts those in midlife –  Michigan News

Imagine if you were swinging back your leg to kick a soccer ball as hard as you could, but at the last second somebody switches the soccer ball for a solid iron cannon ball – and that’s what you kick with full force. That’s how some gout sufferers describe a flare-up.

A condition with a stigma

Gout – a form of acute arthritis, usually in men, that frequently affects the big toe – often comes with a stigma. It is, after all, sometimes called “the disease of kings.” And that stigma, according to a 2011 National Institutes of Health study to understand the experience of men living with it, leads to shame, embarrassment and “the trivialization” of the impact of the disease “despite its severity.”

“When I see a strong man limping into the office in severe pain of gout, I feel so sad for him going through such a tremendous pain,” said Dr. Alireza Meysami, a rheumatologist with Henry Ford Health System.

According to a 2008 report by Dr. John Croft Jr., a professor of rheumatology at Georgetown University Medical School, gout affects more people than rheumatoid arthritis. In about 10 years, it is expected to affect as many people as are currently affected by osteoporosis.


Causes and cures

What actually causes gout? Sodium urate crystals are formed by uric acid, which itself is a product of the metabolic breakdown of purines. Purines are found in high concentrations in a number of meats, including liver, beer (because of the yeast) and seafood such as anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring and scallops. It’s the intake of those foods that led…

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