THESE are the signs of a medieval disease that has caused a rise in cases across the UK – here’s how to make sure you stay safe.
Gout was known to “curse the rich” in the Victorian era for eating rich and unhealthy diets, and was widespread throughout the United Kingdom.
Foods that aggravate the disease include alcohol, fish, red meat and seafood, all of which were considered luxuries at the time.
But since Covid-19, the NHS has seen an influx of patients being admitted to hospital with gout.
An estimated 250,000 people were treated for this disease between 2021 and 2022.
Recent figures suggest the number of sufferers in the UK is increasing. It is estimated that almost two percent of the entire population currently suffers from gout.
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden and severe joint pain.
Painkillers may be prescribed, but the best way to get rid of them and prevent recurrence is to change your lifestyle.
The health service warns of common symptoms to look out for, including sudden pain in the big toe.
The pain can also occur in the ankles, hands, elbows, wrists, or knees.
Hot and swollen joint skin can also be a sign.
If you get gout, it isn’t fatal, but it can have life-changing effects.
It is best not to leave the condition untreated and seek medical advice as soon as you suspect that you may have the condition.
The NHS said: “A gout attack usually lasts 1 to 2 weeks if left untreated.”
“If you don’t receive treatment, future attacks may last even longer.
“If gout is left untreated, it can lead to permanent joint damage.”
What is gout?
According to the NHS, gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain.
Painkillers can relieve the pain, but a healthier lifestyle can prevent it from recurring.
The main symptoms of gout are:
- Sudden severe pain in a joint – usually the big toe, but it can also occur in other joints in your feet, ankles, hands, wrists, elbows or knees
- Hot, swollen, red skin over the affected joint – the redness may be harder to see on black or brown skin
Causes of gout can be:
- Older age
- To be male
- Purine-rich diet
- Sweetened drinks
- Medications such as diuretics, low-dose aspirin, some antibiotics prescribed for tuberculosis and ciclosporin