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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Gout

Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates was the first to realize the healing power of the bark of the willow tree,  His treatment was a tea made from willow bark, and was effective against gout.

Eventually it was discovered that it was salicylic acid, which occurs naturally in willow bark that caused the pain relief. The compound is the active ingredient in aspirin.

Ancient Romans recommended touching electric fish to cure gout.

The English physician William Harvey suffered from gout. One cure he tried was sitting on a roof until chilled and then putting his feet in a pail of water.

King Louis XIV of France suffered from gout caused by drinking too much of his favorite wine which was made with egg white and sugar.

England's Queen Anne suffered from gout for many years and she had to be carried to her coronation.

Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, was a martyr to gout. He recommended sitting it out stoically. "It prevents other illnesses and prolongs life." he maintained, "Could I cure the gout, should not I have a fever, a palsy or an apoplexy."

Gout was widely esteemed the Walpole's era (first half of the 18th century) as there was a common belief that it protected the stricken from other diseases.

King George IV of England suffered from gout due to his highly spiced diet. For many years he bathed in the Brighton sea to try in vain to cure his condition.

The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected by gout (approximately 50% of cases).

Dietary causes account for about 12% of gout, and include a strong association with the consumption of alcohol, fructose-sweetened drinks, meat, and seafood.

All birds suffer from gout. The metabolic disorder is most commonly seen in domestic poultry and captive raptors, including owls.

Saint Andrew is not only the patron saint of Scotland, but also of gout.

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