October 05, 2014
Genes not lifestyle behind gout pain
Arthritis New Zealand is reassuring gout sufferers they don’t need to be ashamed of having the painful condition.
Chief executive Sandra Kirby says the build up of uric acid in parts of the body affects as many as one in eight Maori men.
She says it’s not widely understood that 80 percent of gout is genetic, and the myth it is caused by lifestyle factors is a barrier to diagnosis and treatment.
"Because we’ve had all of this 'it's about what you eat, it's about your kai or it's about what you drink, it's about the beer or the soft drinks,' people have felt ashamed about having gout. While kai can play a part, genes are the most significant part and we believe that's why Maori and Pacific rates are higher than Pakeha rates," she says.
Sandra Kirby says gout is the easiest form of arthritis to treat, so people should get a simple uric acid test the next time they see a doctor so they can find out if they are at risk.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH SANDRA KIRBY CLICK ON THE LINK
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