UPPER NYACK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Gout Awareness Day, CreakyJoints® today announced the publication of “Raising the Voice of Patients: The Patient’s Guide to Treating and Managing Gout.” These patient guidelines are the first ever to be developed by patients and reviewed by rheumatologists, specifically for use by gout patients and their caregivers. According to a 2017 CreakyJoints survey of 1,000 gout patients and 500 caregivers, gout is a disease that is out of control. Half of all patients surveyed said they failed to tell their healthcare providers about all their gout attacks, and almost one third hid attacks from loved ones. Patients surveyed experienced an average of eight painful gout attacks per year and more than half of these patients reported attacks that lasted three or more days.
“There are many misconceptions about how you get and treat gout, which is unfortunate because we know the cause and we have many excellent treatments for it,” said Dr. Theodore Fields, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Attending Physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery. “What I like about the new patient guidelines publication is that it uses accessible language to educate patients and the public about gout, while giving people the knowledge they need to ask the right questions when they see their doctor. People with gout, and their loved ones, should know that sticking with the right treatments will provide them with an extremely good chance of completely getting rid of gout. Nobody should have to just ‘live with gout.’”
The Raising the Voice of Patients series is available for free download on the CreakyJoints website, and other volumes address rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and family planning with autoimmune disease, with future editions being published throughout this year. The patient guidelines explain how people with gout can speak to their rheumatologist or other health professionals about their treatment plan, how to ask questions of their insurance company regarding coverage, and best practices for meeting or communicating with local legislators to advocate for patient-friendly health care laws. The patient guidelines also describe the different gout medications as well as complementary and alternative therapies.
Gout: Fact Versus Fiction Webinar
Today at 6pm ET, CreakyJoints will host a free, one-hour webinar titled “Gout: Fact Versus Fiction”. Open to the public, the webinar will provide education on gout and clear up misconceptions about a chronic, but treatable, inflammatory disease. The webinar will also discuss the importance of patient adherence to treatment by combining medication and lifestyle changes. It will be presented by renowned gout expert Dr. Fields. To register for the webinar, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6089304692484301313. The webinar will also be posted online afterwards.
“Even after I was diagnosed with gout, everything I thought I knew about the disease I gleaned from some older co-workers who had aches and pains on the job,” said James Higgins, a retired chemical plant mechanic from Peabody, MA. “Working with my rheumatologist, it took some trial and error to find a management plan that includes medicine, exercise and weight loss until I found some relief for my toe joints. Sometimes, I’m still not able to walk as far as I’d like, but I know that if I stick with my treatment plan, I can feel good. I encourage other people living with gout to educate themselves about the disease and seek support from their family and friends, like I did.”
Dr. Fields added, “During our webinar, we’ll talk about why people with gout need to understand the different types of medications for gout and how some work when you have a flare whereas some are preventative. We’ll also touch on the importance of diet management in gout, but explain that most people with gout will need medication, too, because the cause of gout is genetic and not just due to what you eat. Importantly, we’ll discuss in more depth about what a good treatment goal looks like, which is a uric acid level below 6.0.”
Gout, the most common inflammatory arthritis in adults, is a highly symptomatic and painful form of inflammatory arthritis caused by hyperuricemia – high serum uric acid (sUA) levels above 6mg/dl in the blood – which can lead to painful flares. Long term effects can be serious for patients with elevated sUA levels, which is why it is so important for gout patients to reach target sUA levels.
Gout is almost always hereditary and not only a lifestyle disease. While diet and lifestyle recommendations are important considerations in the management of gout and its comorbidities, they’re often not enough to get these patients’ sUA levels to target. There are two mechanisms of the disease that can lead to high serum uric acid levels: overproduction and underexcretion of UA. It’s important for patients to know their serum uric acid levels, and for those patients with levels above 6 mg/dL to talk to their doctor about possible treatment options. Read more here: https://creakyjoints.org/education/gout/.
About Raising the Voice of Patients: The Patient’s Guide to Treating
and Managing Gout
The patient guidelines were written by a dedicated panel that included patients, rheumatologists, and CreakyJoints’ staff writers. “Raising the Voice of Patients: The Patient’s Guide to Treating and Managing Gout,” was medically reviewed by Dr. Fields. Willa Bryer-Douglas, a member of the CreakyJoints Gout Patient Council and diagnosed with gout in 2013, also reviewed the content.
The Raising the Voice of Patients series is available at www.CreakyJoints.org/patientguidelines. The gout patient guidelines were jointly sponsored by Horizon Pharma and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.
To learn more about the 2017 survey, sponsored by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, on The State of Gout visit www.CreakyJoints.org/goutsurvey.
CreakyJoints®, founded in 1999, is the go-to source for millions of arthritis patients and their families world-wide who are seeking education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research. CreakyJoints is part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with chronic illness. For more information and to become a member (for free), visit www.CreakyJoints.org. To participate in research, go to www.ArthritisPower.org.