Your Y chromosome means your gouty arthritis might frustrate us

Your Y chromosome means your gouty arthritis might frustrate us

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Swollen footBy Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

Another swollen foot. Another swollen big toe.

Another male.

A typical story. The doctors reading this have already diagnosed gout.

Usually an easy diagnosis especially when there is a typical clinical context as in this case, where a series of work functions with much more alcohol likely played a part.

Unlike many of the other diseases we see in rheumatology, gout is generally easy to diagnose (to be certain, a sample of joint fluid should be obtained & analysed) and easy to treat.

(read Gout: the most curable joint disease is the worst treated)

The frustrating thing about treating gout are the patients.


Generally compliant while they are in pain, much less so over time.

Less inclined to take effective medication long term & less inclined to make lifestyle change. They often stop showing up for appointments. They often just decide to stop taking their Allopurinol.

While I might be fairly accused of gross generalisation, this is often a topic of conversation among rheumatologists. This really common, often debilitating inflammatory arthritis should really be so much simpler to sort out.

Any males out there with gout willing to challenge this?

p.s I don't think many of you will be taking the time to read this

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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