Historically, gout has been known to be a disease afflicting royalties. Generally, this disease is linked to the unwise choices and excessive food intake among the rich in the past. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply nowadays. While the excessive food intake was blamed in the past, we now know that the main cause of gout is an excess of purine rich foods in one’s diet. It’s not the amount of food per se but the type of food consume.
Nowadays, processed foods stuffed with excessive amount of additives are also to blame for the gradual rise of gout worldwide. Since these foods are accessible to a lot of people, gout is no longer common among the rich alone. It affects the general public today more than it had in the past. In fact, I came across with an article discussing how gout is steadily becoming common among middle aged people regardless of their economic status. The succeeding sections are directly quoted from that article published on irishtimes.com.
THE LAST time I wrote about gout I signed off with a statement that gout was no longer a disease of the affluent. However, with a doubling in the number of cases of gout in some developed countries in recent years, it may be time to update that conclusion.
A disease that finds it hard to shake off its 18th century image and association with the excesses of the ruling classes, gout was believed to be brought on by high living and gluttony.
According to a recent review published in Nature, “In the past few decades gout has approximately doubled in prevalence in the USA, and is also markedly increasing in prevalence in other countries with established and emerging economies.”
It looks as if we have moved on from gout as a patrician disease, largely confined to those with a regular diet of claret and sweetbreads. Now it seems it is a globalised food industry that comes to painfully wiggle our big toes in the dead of night.
To assume that gout remains to be a disease common only among the rich and well off is obsolete. This is misleading and very far from the reality that we now experience. In fact, a large portion of gout sufferers belong to developing countries. This only proves that gout is no longer confined among people in the upper portion of the social strata. This also tells us that the main cause of gout which is obesity due to faulty eating is equally common among the poor and rich nowadays. In order to fight the prevalence of the said disease, each and everyone should take steps in order to control the intake of foods high in purine. This is the surest and safest way to reduce the risk of gout development.