So it’s a new week and another open health day and we kicked off the show with some questions about Uric Acid AKA gout. I actually know a very dear family friend who passed away from this horrible condition because he did not get it treated for a long time and by the time it was diagnosed it was too late.

 Today I was joined by the delightful Dr Sapna Sharma, MBChB, MRCGP, a senior GP who holds a Diploma from the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists (DRCOG). We spoke a bit about gout and Dr Sharma said that there were some common symptoms to watch out for. According to her, the most common symptom of gout is sudden and severe pain in one or more joints, typically your big toe. Gout is extremely painful and symptoms often develop at night, although they can occur at any time.

 Other common symptoms include:

  • Your joint being very tender, to the point of being unable to bear anything touching it
  • Swelling (inflammation) in and around the affected joint
  • Red, shiny skin over the affected joint
  • Peeling, itchy and flaky skin over the affected joint as the inflammation subsides

 The intense pain that gout causes can make walking and getting around difficult. Even the light pressure of a bed cover or blanket can be unbearable. Dr Sharma said it was vital to speak and seek help from a GP if you suffered from any of these symptoms and she emphasised that one should always see a GP if you suspect you have gout, particularly if it hasn’t been previously diagnosed. It is important that a diagnosis is confirmed because more serious conditions, such as an infected joint, can sometimes cause similar symptoms.

 Dr Sharma was asked about an array of health issues and one of the ones that stood out in my mind, was of a concerned Mother asking about her daughter who suffers from migraine. A horrible condition that many suffer from and relief is found in different ways. She suggested that if normal over the counter pain killers were not helping, and you have been for an eye test, it may be worthwhile to speak to your GP to give you something for the pain and also perhaps look into doing further tests, just for one’s peace of mind.