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Life Is On Hold During An Attack Of Gout

Gout is not a constant: an attack is excruciating, but self-limited. The pain is at its worst during the initial stage, but tends to lessen as the attack follows its natural course. Even so, life is on hold during an attack of gout and as time goes on, gout attacks can worsen in severity, last longer, and occur more often.

The Fact Is That It's Hard To Walk With A Swollen, Painful Toe

Studies show that when gout is in full flower, 75% of gout sufferers find the disease has major impact on their mobility. The fact is that it's hard to walk with a swollen, painful toe. Some 71% of gout patients surveyed said it was hard to put on shoes while a full 70% of those with the condition found it impossible to exercise or participate in recreational activities. About 21% of gout patients polled, or one in five, said they missed work within the past year. 23% said they missed a week of work or more.

A Gout Sufferer Doesn't Need To Live The Life Of The Disabled.

Gout sufferers can and should lead normal lives but during the active phase of the disease there is a significant and detrimental effect on quality of life. Americans are living longer and growing fatter, primary factors linked to the prevalence of gout. That means it's more important than ever to receive a prompt diagnosis and effective treatment. With proper care, a gout sufferer doesn't need to live the life of the disabled. Decent medical care can prevent joint damage, lost workdays and diminished quality of life. Out of 321 gout patients who participated in the 2006 study, over half (57%) had seen a physician but only 13% had seen a rheumatologist, the specialist for rheumatic diseases such as gout.  Most, 80% of suffers who seek medical care, see their primary care physician.

Two thirds of the study's participants, or 65%, ranked their pain as the worst pain possible with an average attack lasting 8 days. 72% had an attack of gout within the past year. " These survey findings confirm that gout is an excruciating and debilitating form of arthritis that can negatively affect daily activities, lifestyle and work productivity," said N. Lawrence Edwards, MD, of the University of Florida College of Medicine. "The prevalence of gout has steadily increased in recent decades due to a variety of dietary and lifestyle changes, obesity, greater use of medications that can cause high uric acid levels, and the aging population. Fortunately for patients, the first new prescription treatments for gout in 40 years are being developed."