Gout – many doctors get it wrong

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 Gout is on the increase

Gout is something that people think of as a medieval problem that contributed to the loss of several of Henry VIII's wives' heads but that it 's not relevant to us today.  However, it is very much a problem of the 21st Century and it is on the increase. Gout is actually the commonest form  of inflammatory arthritis in the developed world.  The percentage of the population suffering from Gout doubled in the 20 years spanning the turn of the Century  and now one in 40 people suffer from it and the figure is continuing to rise.  As the population lives longer, problems like Gout become more common because the risk of developing it increases with age. So how do our GP's handle it?

Doctors are over confident and need re-educating about gout

A survey carried out in 2002 revealed that 86% of doctors were confident that they diagnosed and treated Gout correctly. However a new study published at the end of 2013 reveals that not only do doctors regularly misdiagnose the condition, they also mismanage it by prescribing some medicines that aggravate the problem!

You probably know more about Gout than your doctor

So the chances are, if you do your research you will probably end up knowing more about it than your doctor.
The study showed that not all of the doctors actually made a record of serum uric acid levels and many did not make dose adjustments nor monitor treatment. There was a serious lack of information on diet and nutrition and lifestyle advice and patients were not told of the increased risk factors for other problems that are often found in Gout sufferers, such as Metabolic Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension and Diabetes.   The authors of the study suggest  that there should be public awareness campaigns to educate patients about Gout.
Oh yes and they also suggest that doctors need to have some 'revision' courses on the subject!

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