- Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis and causes joint pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, and lingering discomfort.
- There are many myths surrounding gout including who it affects, why it occurs and how serious it is.
- Other common misconceptions include how to treat or potentially cure gout and whether or not it needs treatment at all.
- This article includes the most common myths about gout and what the truth is behind them.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that usually affects the big toe, but can occur in any joint on the body. The trademark symptoms are sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in one or more joints, says the Mayo Clinic. Attacks or flares usually start suddenly and last for days or weeks, followed by long periods of remission.
Unfortunately there is no cure for gout. The only form of treatment is to learn how to manage symptoms. Gout is a relatively common condition so there’s lots of information available, but also many myths and misconceptions. We’re here to debunk the most common myths about gout and reveal the truth behind them…
Gout Only Affects Men
While gout does tend to affect more young men than women, it’s not a gender-specific condition. Women can have gout. The reason they are less likely to get it is because they have lower uric acid levels, says the Mayo Clinic. However, this changes after menopause when their uric acid levels actually go up to match those of men.
This is why WebMD states that women’s likelihood of developing gout increases after they’ve gone through menopause. At this point the rate of men and women having gout becomes more even. Women won’t start showing signs and symptoms until after menopause, whereas men are more likely to develop the condition between the ages 30 and 50, notes the Mayo Clinic. Despite all this, keep in mind that gout can occur at any age.