Sudden and painful, gout is a form of arthritis that affects millions of Americans. Patients experience joint tenderness, swelling and redness, often near the big toe. The condition is chronic for some. Gout can stem from a variety of factors – genetics, obesity, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and dietary choices.
Lifestyle changes may reduce the number of gout episodes, but many patients also require medication. Options range from over-the-counter treatments for inflammation to long-term, prescription therapies. Advanced medicine now offers relief for patients whose gout hasn’t responded to traditional drugs.
But effective treatment begins with greater awareness. Patients, health care providers and communities need to understand what gout is and how it impacts both individual patients and society at large. Patients must be able to recognize symptoms so they can obtain a proper, timely diagnosis. They also need effective tools to aid them in managing the disease.
Meanwhile, social stigma about gout reflects the need for improved education. The long-held misconception of gout – the “disease of kings” – as a punishment for gluttony ignores the role of genetics in disease development. Affected patients, too embarrassed to seek treatment, may suffer in silence.
The Alliance for Gout Awareness works to reduce stigma and empower patients by improving public understanding of gout. Members collaborate on educational materials and support resources.
By heightening public awareness and addressing common misconceptions, the Alliance for Gout Awareness emboldens patients to acknowledge the disease’s impact and to seek the treatment they need.
In the News
- New Gout Alliance Releases “Fast Facts”
Institute for Patient Access, February 2018
- Gout Worsens its Comorbidities
MedPage Today, November 2017
- Gout is Out of Control, but it Doesn’t Need to Be
U.S. News, June 2017
- CreakyJoints Issues New Survey of Patients with Gout and their Caregivers
CreakyJoints, May 2017
- Gout, Just a Pain in the Big Toe?
Marshfield News-Herald, May 2015