“Being jabbed by a million tiny, white-hot needles…” this is how gout patients usually describe the feeling for every gout attacks.
Gout is not termed as disease of kings for nothing. It got the name for its popular emergence during the ancient times, affecting kings, saints, aristocrats and members of the select elite.
Gregory the Great for instance who suffered from gout saw the disease as mortification from the heavens. Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States missed several meetings for the drafting of the Declaration of Independence because of gout.
And gout’s prominence doesn’t end there. Names that made history like King Henry VIII, Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander the Great, Queen Victoria and Sir Isaac Newton had once bowed down to the pain it inflicts.
Imagine? World’s most prominent figures and inventors left with no match against the mighty gout!
So yes. Gout has ‘that’ reputation to be proud of. It’s not just the disease of kings, if we want to, we can call it the king of diseases!
But don’t get the wrong idea. Gout isn’t a status symbol. Just because you find yourself waking up at the middle of the night with an excruciating pain in your foot’s big toe doesn’t make you a direct descendant of England’s monarchs.
While genes and heredity can increase your risk of having gout, it may not necessarily be the cause. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can always will those gout-related genes to remain dormant.
Gout has been a common problem of the rich in the past because same people have more or less the same lifestyle – abundant food and alcohol. During that time, only those on the upper level of the societal hierarchy are able to afford such luxury.
Gout’s glorious comeback!
Rulers of nations passed, wars won, medical advancements prosper but gout remains a formidable force lying somewhere.
And now it’s back – wreaking havoc not only to kings and scientist but to business executives, company workers, menopausal women and everyone who dares throw away their lifestyle to favour an unhealthy diet.
Medical advancements have allowed our modern doctors to identify the causes of gout, ways to prevent it from pestering our lovely days and even the specifics of how it’s acquired.
Still, the disturbing fact remains: While you can prevent gout from affecting you, once it does, there’s NO cure.
That is why it’s important to ALWAYS be mindful of our health habits. Foods rich in purines are specifically recommended for reduced intake since purines are broken down to uric acid which when accumulated causes gout.
Even if you don’t have any history of gout, and even if none of your family members from as far back as you can trace don’t have gout, it’s not a guarantee that you wouldn’t have it. The longer high uric acid level remains in your body the higher the risk you’re placing yourself open for gout attack.
Gout’s comeback this 20th century pictures one thing; Gout patients need not to look like King Henry VIII.
‘Sorry mom, but I’ll have to skip your baked scallops for dinner. Too much purine out there.’
If you have gout and wish you hadn’t (based on experience, everyone I know wish they hadn’t), you’ll most likely have a lot of those ‘what if’ moments.
What if I didn’t keep eating beef? What if I reduced seafood intake? What if mom told me scallops are purine-rich food and stopped serving it for dinner?!
Those ‘what ifs’ come in handy every time you’re bed-ridden, agonizing every single minute of gout attack. Even the fancy thought of being a blue-blooded person on the same league with the ancient kings wouldn’t hold much meaning.
It’s gout we’re talking about after all. And when we speak of gout, we mean pain.
Keep the triggers away, or else….GOUT ATTACKS!
It’s like a bomb triggering device. Press the trigger and you face destruction. Only in gout’s case, we are talking about foods – foods we may love to eat but are also gouts minions.
You see, with the speed on how things develop, the 20th century has become a breeding ground for innovation and test-drives. And because we start relying too much on technological advancements, we forget some of the basics.
It’s like saying; ‘I’ll be fine. Medicines are available anyway. I can always grab one.’
True. But while medications such as ‘Uloric’, a gout drug manufactured by Takeda pharmaceutical has now been released for public consumption, keeping away from gout-triggering foods remains the best option.
contain significantly high amount of purines (75-150 mg) which isn’t good especially if you’re trying to stabilize the uric acid present on your body.
Knowing these and learning to control your cravings for them will do you a lot of mercy in preventing the next gout attack.
Modern medication? Alternative treatment works as fine.
Due to the long and widespread reputation of gout, traditional healing or treatment has evolved in response to the hassle produced by the disease. Alternative treatment like:
- Herbal therapy
has played their own share of history in gout treatment. Even at present, there are still a number of people who prefer these alternative treatments over the modern ones.
But while positive feedbacks have been received on these techniques, doctors who administer and practice these things seemed to be less enthusiastic on the process compared to their predecessors.
Gout’s on the way! Watch out!
We’ve established how dreadful gout is. We know that it has come back as a common disease at present (i.e. in England where 7% increase of gout cases has been recorded per year). We know it has come hunting people down!
You can be next!
But hold it! If you don’t have gout, you don’t need to have one! If you’re suffering from gout, you can always control it!
Keep the ‘triggers’ away of reach! Stand up against it and don’t bow down before it just like Alexander the Great did!
You don’t have an army, but you have the knowledge, and knowledge is power! Eat right, move right, and punch gout straight on the face once it starts knocking on your door!
You have the power to stop it!