Binge-eating and lack of exercise during lockdown have led to big rise in gout, data shows
- Hospital admissions for gout have increased due to binge eating during lockdowns
- Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden and severe joint pain
- Joint pain is usually in the big toe, but it can also be found in other joints
It used to be known as the ‘disease of kings’, but figures suggest hospital admissions for gout have increased due to binge eating and less exercise during lockdowns.
The number of cases has risen by 20 per cent in three years, with 234,000 patients admitted to hospital with gout in 2021/22, NHS Digital statistics show.
There has also been a significant increase in obesity over the same period.
Experts said many spent more time sitting during the Covid lockdowns and may have eaten more snacks and junk food while working from home.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden and severe joint pain.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, told The Sunday Telegraph: “Forget Falstaff, Henry VIII and the rich Victorians who made gout infamous.
“Today’s Elizabethans eat and drink them all under the table.”
Hospital admissions for gout have increased due to binge eating and less exercise during lockdowns
Gout is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind and dates back to the Egyptians.
Symptoms include sudden, severe joint pain, usually in the big toe, but can also be found in other joints of the feet, hands, wrists, elbow or knees.
Some people may also experience hot, swollen, red skin on the affected joint.
It occurs from having too much uric acid in the body, which can lead to deposits of sodium urate crystals in and around the joints, causing pain and discomfort.
It can cause excruciating pain, but can usually be treated with medications such as ibuprofen or steroids if the pain and swelling do not improve.
But Mr Fry warned that sufferers were not getting enough help from the NHS.
“People with gout are miles away from getting the treatment they need and their horrible care is little better than it was in the days of the Dark Ages,” he said.
The NHS recommends getting to a healthy weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet to prevent gout from coming back.
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