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Outing Gout 5 Hui

Outing Gout 5 Hui


The latest research in causes and management.

26th September 2014
Treating gout seriously

New Zealand leads the world in a condition that is debilitating and incredibly painful – gout! There are nearly 120,000 New Zealanders living with a current diagnosis of gout – and this is probably the tip of the iceberg.

Arthritis New Zealand is proud to support the Maaori Gout Action Group in presenting the fifth Outing Gout Hui. This year’s hui is being held at the beautiful Te Manukanuka O Hoturoa Marae at Auckland Airport on Monday 29th September.

The kaupapa (purpose) is to disseminate information on the causes and treatment for gout, including the latest clinical advances in treatment.

“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.”

Persistent myths about gout are common and they need to be corrected. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the body because the kidneys cannot excrete enough of it. A person’s genes are the main factor affecting their ability to excrete this uric acid. While some foods can trigger an attack of gout they are not the cause of the condition - this is a myth.

Most importantly it is not your fault if you have gout.

The incidence of gout is much higher among Māori and Pacific men, who have a genetic predisposition to develop gout and are also usually comparatively young when gout first strikes. Despite the large numbers of people living with gout it does not feature in our key health funding targets – unlike diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Living with gout for many men means being unable to work – feet and hands being too painful. This in turn creates a whole set of other problems linked to poverty and unemployment.

The good news is – once recognised gout is an easily managed form of arthritis. Effective medications are already funded. Diet and lifestyle changes also required – as with diabetes and heart disease. The systems are already in place at community level and in primary care to identify and treat people with gout. Putting a focus on gout could improve the health and employment of Māori and Pacific men. Investment in gout as a health priority would reap returns for the whole community.
One of the exciting initiatives developed by Arthritis New Zealand is the Gout Champions Programme. Gout Champions are people who either have gout themselves or have family/whanau with gout. These volunteers complete a training course that empowers them to educate their whanau and community about gout. They learn how to counter the myths and stereotypes about gout and provide a powerful flax roots voice in their local communities. At the Outing Gout Hui a new group of Gout Champions will be recognised with certificates for completing their training. This group will help spread the message that gout can be treated.

ENDS

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