Last February 27, 2015, the Philippine Rheumatology Association, in a press conference held during the 21st Annual Meeting, launched an awareness campaign on gout – the second most common form of arthritis world-wide. There are a lot of misconceptions about how it should be treated among doctors and patients a like. Below is the press-release by Dr. Eric Jason B. Amante, PRA President, on why we should be concerned with gout.
Gout is an episodic, severely painful form of inflammatory arthritis caused by increased uric acid. It is found in 1.6% of Filipinos and has increased in prevalence over the last decade. It primarily affects men, starting in their 20’s. Women, mostly those who are post-menopausal, may become victims as well.
Left untreated, gout becomes more severe and attacks more frequent as time goes by. It may be triggered by eating purine rich foods. It also can be seen in patients on various medications like aspirin, diuretics and some anti-TB medications.
During gout attacks, pain is extreme. Even lightly touching affected joints can be intolerable. Patients are unable to walk or put any weight on painful joints for days. This leads to missed days at work, anger and depressive symptoms, and overall poor quality of life.
Later on, chronic gout can frequently lead to kidney stones, joint erosions and deformities, large visible joint and soft tissue tophaceous deposits, and even kidney failure.
The Philippine Rheumatology Association Gout Awareness Campaign seeks to bring to the public greater awareness of Gout as a disease entity, and encourage proper prevention and treatment, in particular by visiting a Rheumatologist in addition to their usual physicians.