CHN Health Matters

What is Gout?

 

Arthritis is the term we use to describe inflammation in a joint. We have over 300 joints in our bodies. Gout is one type of arthritis that can cause acute attacks of severe disabling joint pain.

When I think of gout I am reminded of the famous painting of an overweight, rich man sitting in a chair with a bottle of alcohol on the table next to him. His swollen foot is elevated on a stool, and several creatures that look like devils are biting and poking pitchforks into his great toe while he is grimacing with pain. I have to believe the artist had experienced a gout attack himself to portray such an image.  

Gout has bothered people for a long time. It is fairly common today with about four percent of adults in the United States experiencing gout symptoms at some time. There is a higher incidence in men, African Americans, and obese individuals. Certain medications (like diuretics), alcohol, kidney disease, hypertension, and cancers can make people more at risk for gout flare-ups.