News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Shame and embarrassment a barrier to treatment for gout?


Shame and embarrassment a barrier to treatment for gout?

22 May is Gout Awareness Day. Today, Arthritis New Zealand is asking New Zealanders to gain a better understanding of this chronic and incredibly painful arthritis condition. Yes, gout is a form of arthritis!

“Gout is neither shameful nor funny,” says Sandra Kirby CEO of Arthritis New Zealand. “And yet these reactions are not uncommon when people live with gout.”

We endeavoured to get someone to let us tell their story. A 30 year old Pacific male was prepared to talk with us – but on the condition he remained unidentified. He told us that he was ashamed and embarrassed that he had gout.

“If you have gout my family and friends think it’s hilarious, but I don’t see the funny side of it. A lot of people just assume you’ve been on a bender, eaten too many oysters, or just eaten too much, ‘the disease of kings’ – sometimes I wish this was the case! This is frustrating and I think it’s mainly due to the fact gout has been around for so long, so common amongst Maori and Pacific Island men that it has in some way become part of life.

This 30 year old man was diagnosed six years ago – the certainly doesn’t fit the old stereotype of a fat, old rich man that has drunk too much port. For this man, like many of the nearly 120,000 people living with gout it is a family affair. In his family, his mother, father and a sister all have gout.

For this man and for many others gout wasn’t his first diagnosis. His foot pain was treated as an injury. It took several X-rays and assessments by different doctors. For him the family GP was the key to correct diagnosis.

Gout takes a toll on people. As our man tells us:

“Gout is having a huge impact on my life and work; I am a tradesman which is a relatively active job. The gout usually affects my feet and ankles but has at times flared up in my hands. When it is in my feet I can’t walk. I obviously need my hands in my job! I have had to take weeks off work at a time, meaning less/no income for me and my family. It is like a vicious cycle as to help/get rid of the gout I need to get fit & exercise but can’t do this when I can barely walk. It is a very depressing condition, when at its worst, I feel useless and it is killing my life. “

Fortunately gout can be effectively treated – medication, diet and exercise all play a part. Early diagnosis and treatment is really important. We need people to see their GP early to get gout under control. Untreated gout can cause major joint damage that is permanent. Pharmac funds a range of medications that work to manage gout.

“We are using Gout Awareness Day to take gout seriously,” concluded Ms Kirby.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: Henry Rollins Burning Down The House

With his lantern jaw, close-cropped hair, and muscle-bound physique, Henry Rollins could not be further from the US Marine image his appearance might suggest. More>>

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news