Rates of Gout are soaring in the UK, with one in 40 people suffering from the condition. People first notice inflammation and pain in the joints – usually the big toes, which can then make walking and climbing stairs painful.
Commonly associated with people who are overweight and/or diabetic, gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Although traditionally thought of as a by product of a rich lifestyle with an indulgence in port and beer (George IV had it) it is felt by sufferers to be more painful than rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, according to Professor Alan Silman who is the medical director of the Arthritis Research charity here in the UK.
Speaking to the BBC he said: It is not a trivial condition, yet its reputation as a ‘joke’ disease that only affects florid-faced country squires has meant that over the years it’s not always taken as seriously as it should be.
This form of Arthritis, the commonest inflammatory type, affects many people first in their 50’s, and more men than women seem to suffer from it.
An x-ray can confirm the presence of uric crystals around the joints which would identify the condition as gout, and which can cause the skin to be red and tender and the foot to be hot to the touch and painful.
Affected joints can also include ankles, knees, elbows and wrists. This gouty arthritis can be sporadic in effect, lasting for a few hours or days at a time, then lessening in its symptoms.
Remedies for Gout
Arthritis Research UK has produced a booklet to explain about this increasingly common condition, which can be made easier with some lifestyle adjustments – the main ones being drinking less alcohol, drinking more water and losing some weight. The link to the pdf about it is here
Even with watching the urate levels in your diet, some people just don’t excrete that much of it – so it will collect around the joints causing more gout symptoms. For these people, who may also be overweight or obese, their ability to access the upstairs of their home becomes problematic.
Getting about your home can be made easier in this case by means of a stair lift. If you have had confirmation from a doctor that you have gout and that you have tried all the steroidal and urate medications, then to alleviate pain on climbing the stairs, especially if you have other toe or foot conditions like bunions, hammer toes or the like, then the installation of a stair lift will be very useful.
If you would like to call me on 0800 007 5050 to discuss your condition and whether a lift can help you on the stairs then I would be glad to help. Fill in the contact page here to tell me about your stairs.