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

 


Having it out with Gout

14 July 2014

Having it out with Gout

For gout sufferers, the inflammatory affliction can cause feelings of embarrassment, denial, guilt and a lot of pain. Issue 3 of Pacific Peoples Health describes how New Zealand has been tagged the ‘Gout Capital of the World’ with many people suffering from the form of arthritis, caused by elevated uric acid levels in the blood.

Growing research shows genetics is the main reason gout is far more prevalent in Pacific and Maori than other ethnicities, with 6% of Maori and 8% Pacific people affected compared to 3% of Europeans, and men are more likely to get gout than women.

Due to the stigma surrounding gout, some people feel ashamed to admit they have it.

Arthritis NZ Chief Executive Officer Sandra Kirby suspects a number of myths about gout contribute to the shame.

“Included in those myths about gout is the concept of too much rich food and too much alcohol,” Sandra explains.

“While food and alcohol do contribute for Maori and Pacific people, there’s a strong genetic connection. There’s also the dangerous misconception that there’s not much you can do if you get gout and it will go away anyway.”

University of Otago Associate Professor Tony Merriman became interested in gout and its impact while researching rheumatoid arthritis.

He says genetics is the main reason behind the high incidence of gout in Pacific and Maori people as they have naturally higher levels of uric acid, the primary cause of gout.

Initial results from his research show a specific genetic variant within a gene called SLC2A9 approximately doubles your risk of gout if you are of European descent.

But if you’re of Maori or Pacific ancestry, your chance of gout increases by more than five times.

He stresses that prevention is obviously key when dealing with gout.

“Prevention relieves the burden on the sufferer and their family and given gout primarily affects working age men, this will have positive effects on Pacific and Maori communities, and lead to reduction of health disparities,” he says.

Although a serious problem, gout is preventable, and it can be effectively treated by medicines.

Early diagnosis and treatment are important as untreated gout can cause major and permanent joint damage.

Uric acid medicines are available to bring uric acid levels down, which need to be taken daily even during a gout attack, while gout attack medicines treat gout attacks – these medicines are taken when a gout attack is coming on or if in pain.

Keeping to a healthy weight can also help reduce uric acid and therefore gout, as can eating three meals each day, choosing small servings of meat and seafood, eating low-fat dairy foods daily and drinking lots of water, and less alcohol.

Pharmacists, GPs or doctor’s nurses can help determine the right gout treatment for each individual, and patients are more likely to make lifestyle changes if they understand their condition.

About Pacific Peoples Health
Pacific Peoples Health is a FREE Publication targeting Pacific people in New Zealand. Educating and informing Pacific health service users, it is New Zealand's only publication dedicated solely to Pacific people's health.

Pacific Peoples Health Winter Edition Available Now
Read for Free Online at www.pacificpeopleshealth.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news