Gout is a form of arthritis that many people are not familiar with.
It’s kind of a funny word that sounds like a disease people used to get in Medieval times. In fact, it was once thought of as “the disease of kings” because people once believed that only rich people got it because of the fancy foods they could afford to eat. Some still think of it that way. However, that’s not true—anyone can get gout. And, it’s not the only myth about gout that exists. Below are 5 gout myths and the truth about them.
Myth #1: Gout is a rare condition.
Truth: Gout isn’t rare at all. In fact, it’s pretty common. There are currently approximately 8 million people in the United States with gout. It is the number one most common kind of arthritis in men. Before the age of 60, gout is about 10 times more common in men than in women. However, at the age of 60, the numbers even out and just as many women as men get the disease.
Myth #2: Gout only affects people who are overweight.
Truth: Thin or heavy, short or tall—any size person can get gout. However, this myth is grounded in some truth since being overweight does increase the risk of getting gout. It is also more common in people who have certain health conditions that are frequently related to weight, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Myth #3: Only the big toe is affected by gout.
Truth: Gout is a disease that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood, which causes crystals to form and collect in joints. They make joints swell and become painful. This myth likely comes from the fact that the disease often first impacts the toe, but it can occur in other joints, including the knees, ankles, and hands. In women who have osteoarthritis, it’s common for gout to start in the fingers.
Myth #4: People with gout shouldn’t eat acidic foods.
Truth: Because gout happens due to a build-up of uric acid, people sometimes think that eating foods with acid in them, like oranges and tomatoes, causes gout. However, eating these kinds of foods don’t necessarily increase uric acid levels.
Myth #5: Gout doesn’t kill.
Truth: It’s true that gout isn’t a fatal disease. However, does raise the risk of other health problems that can lead to death. Gout is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Gout is also associated with insulin resistance. In addition, when gout is not treated, it can lead to the development of tophi, which are bunches of uric acid crystals. These can become seriously infected.
If your aging relative suffers from gout, senior care can help them to feel better during a gout attack and prevent another. Senior care providers can allow the older adult to rest when they are affected by gout pain while the provider cooks for them and keeps the house clean. Senior care providers can also remind them to take medications. When the attack is over, a senior care provider can help your loved one to make lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of having another gout attack.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Mount Laurel, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Attentive Care Inc. 1-800-493-5660
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