Nineteenth century American humorist, Ambrose Bierce, defined gout in his Devil’s Dictionary as: “A physician’s name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.” Gout is a form of rheumatic arthritis characterised by recurrent episodes of joint inflammation, but it affects approximately one in 200 adults – most frequently men between 40-60 years of age – whether they are moneyed or not! At any rate, it’s painful. Sufferers have described the pain of an attack as “worse than childbirth” and like being jabbed with a “million tiny white-hot needles.” The pain and swelling of gout are caused by uric acid crystals that deposit in some joints, most notably the big toe, but can also strike the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist and elbow. No longer just a “disease of kings”, people who are overweight, have high blood pressure, eat diets rich in protein and consume vast quantities of alcohol have an increased risk of developing gout. And it’s no laughing matter.
Comments and Questions
Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.
The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.