Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by painful, stiff and inflamed joints. The stiffness and swelling are a result of excess uric acid-forming crystals in your joints,1 and the pain associated with this disease is caused by your body's inflammatory response to the crystals.2 A “disease of kings” was the moniker given to gout, as it was often seen in members of the aristocracy who overindulged on fancy food and liquor.3
King Henry VIII of England was known to have suffered from gout. Alexander the Great,4 Michelangelo,5 Nostradamus, Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin and Charles Dickens also fell victim to this disease.6 Sadly, the number of people being diagnosed with gout nowadays is slowly rising, and anyone can be affected by the disease, whether you have royal blood or not.
Gout by the Numbers
In the U.S., it’s estimated that more than 8.3 million7 people suffer from gout. In a 2011 Arthritis & Rheumatism article, researchers noted that gout impacted about 6 percent of males and 2 percent of females in the country. Across the pond, the U.K. recorded a whopping 64 percent increase in gout incidence between 1997 and 2012, roughly around a 4 percent rise per year.8 Now, 1 out of 40 people in the U.K. has the disease.9
Although gout itself isn’t exactly fatal, the health problems that may develop because of the disease can greatly increase a person’s risk of dying.10 Gout attacks or “flare-ups” can be extremely painful, so do not take this disease lightly.11
Stay Away From Conventional Gout Treatments as Much as Possible
Since gout is actually a type of arthritis, you can alleviate the pain that arises from a gout attack. However, prescription drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are commonly prescribed for treating gout,12 have been proven to do you more harm than good.
You’re better off practicing holistic techniques. Not only are these methods less expensive compared to buying prescription drugs, but they also pose fewer health risks. Making tweaks to your daily routine can also be helpful in preventing gout, since your lifestyle is a big factor in reducing your chances of being diagnosed with the disease.
Learn more about gout through this handy guide that provides vital information about how this disease affects your body, its causes, symptoms and types, and different tips and strategies that you or your loved ones can practice to stop this illness from causing you further harm.
• Gout FAQ