It is sad but gout is a condition that is surrounded with so many myths. And to be able to clear the air one needs to be completely aware of the facts associated with it. Mentioned ahead are some of the top myths about gout.
Gout is curable.
Debunking the myth: Sadly, it’s not completely curable. You will find a load of links on the internet saying that the ‘Gout’ is curable and they themselves promise a cure. The truth is, in 90% cases gout is genetic. And the fact is, most of the genetic conditions are incurable. People with Gout do understand that it runs in the family. However the condition can be managed for a better life.
Gout will go away on it’s own with time.
Debunking the myth: This is pretty much similar to the first myth. It’s true that most of the gout attacks subside eventually without treatment, but it is absolutely necessary to get diagnosed and start proper treatment. Gout attacks will keep on recurring back if nothing is done to prevent them. Gout medications work only when the uric acid levels are low, the medications help reduce the pain from the uric acid formation in the joints and further help keep the gout attacks under control and reduce your chances of attacks in the future too. Depending on your condition you may need to continue the medications on a long term basis too.
Gout medications show instant action.
Debunking the myth: Gout medications do not make the attacks or pain stop instantly. In reality, it can be the opposite. The medications prescribed for gout, can actually increase the attacks in the initial stage. This is because these medicines alter the uric acid level in the body and this leads to a sudden drop in the uric acid levels which in turn triggers more attacks. However with a continuous treatment for over 6 months, the attacks do get fully reduced.
Gout is not a serious problem.
Debunking the myth: People who are suffering from Gout do not need us telling them how false that statement is. Gout maybe the most painful form of arthritis. Many gout patients have compared the pain of gout attacks with childbirth or a fracture. Dr. Daniel Solomon, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston shares; according to his patients gout is the worst pain in life, it’s like experiencing living hell. Gout can lead to serious complications like a permanent joint damage and a kidney damage, if not properly treated.
Gout attacks only trigger the big toe.
Debunking the myth: Not completely true. The big toe is very vulnerable to the gout attacks due to the constant pressure from standing and walking. But researches have shown that it can also affect the knees, ankles, elbows, fingers, wrists and the other parts of the feet too.
Gout attacks do not continue for more than a week.
Debunking the myth: Most people have experiences of acute gout attacks, which do not last for more than 7 days in a row. However there are some cases where people may suffer from chronic gout attacks which can go on for over a month or more. The chronic attacks are less painful than the acute ones but they do have a tendency to continue for a longer period of time. If not properly taken care, it can lead to a permanent damage of the joints.
All alcohol is bad for gout.
Debunking the myth: Although there is some truth in this myth. However, it is not true entirely. Beer is an absolute no no for the gout patients. And most of the spirits like vodka, rum, whiskey is definitely bad for gout patients. This reason being, most of the alcoholic beverages increase the uric acid level in the body. But the red wine on the other hand, if taken in a limited amount everyday can actually do good for gout patients. One glass of red wine and not more, can actually improve one’s condition.
Body weight does not make a difference in gout.
Debunking the myth: Absolute fallacy! Excess body weight is directly connected with gout. As a matter of fact, people with gout are most likely to witness a visible improvement in their condition if they lose weight and maintain it. People without gout can avoid this disease in the future by maintaining a regular exercise regime. Also all the high protein foods are not bad for patients with gout. In fact the high protein food items from a vegetarian or a dairy source like whey, soy etc can help reduce the uric acid levels in the body.
Gout attacks only cause pain, there are no other complications.
Debunking the myth: This is another myth about gout which is not at all true. Gout is a deadly disease. If not treated properly, gout can cripple and can even kill. As mentioned earlier, chronic gout attacks can damage the joints beyond repair and has the ability to disfigure the hands and feet. Rise in uric acid levels can form large uric acid crystals in the body known as tophus. This can lead to high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes and even serious heart diseases leading to stroke.