Gout ‘Disease of Kings’ stereotype is unfair and untrue

Arthritis Ireland challenge modern day Gout misconceptions

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men and women, and affects 1 in 40 people in Ireland. The condition can be extremely painful and if poorly managed can have a significant effect on quality of life. Gout doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor, fat or thin, men or women. Gout is often seen as a disease that affects people who are wealthy and overweight and popularly depicted as a ‘disease of kings’ with those affected stereotyped as overweight, middle-aged men who indulge in a lavish lifestyle of rich food. In fact, gout can affect anyone.

Des Warren, from Dalkey, Co. Dublin, was diagnosed when he only 30 years of age. Des commented: “I was on my honeymoon when I first noticed something was wrong. My foot and toe were swollen and extremely painful. The pain is the hardest part of the disease. People have a bemused, sympathetic response when I tell them I have gout. They see it as a disease I have caused, by making bad lifestyle choices. When the opposite is true, I was a fit, healthy man in my 30’s – I played sport, ate well and drank in moderation. My life changed overnight, and I have been managing it ever since.”

John Church, CEO Arthritis Ireland, said: “People with gout in Ireland are fed up living with the stereotype that gout is the result of living the high life and over-indulging when in fact the reality is very different. People with gout are faced with many challenges as they manage their disease. Arthritis Ireland is here to support those living with gout on their journey to wellness and break down the barriers and misconceptions people living with gout face. With this in mind, we are hosting an information evening on Wednesday 23rd of November and encourage all those living with gout to attend.”

Professor Geraldine Mc Carthy, Consultant Rheumatologist at the Mater Hospital, said: “Gout is the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis occuring in humans and is becoming more frequent with time. Up to one in forty adults may experience gout. People may have symptoms of gout for many years before they are diagnosed. That is why it is important to know there are highly effective treatments available for gout, once they are taken correctly. At the upcoming information evening, I will explain many aspects of gout, such as what causes it, how it is, diagnosed, treated and lifestyle recommendations to help manage your gout.”

Arthritis Ireland is hosting an information evening, ‘Living with Gout’, Wednesday 23rd November at the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan Road, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, from 7pm (registration, networking & tea/coffee from 7pm and speakers at 7.30pm). Admission is free, and all are welcome. To book your place visit www.arthritisireland.ie or www.bit.do/GoutEvent. The information evening is kindly supported by A. Menarini Pharmaceuticals.

From left to right:                                                                                                                             Professor Geraldine Mc Carthy and Niall Heelan (A. Menarini Pharmaceuticals)

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