Binge-eating and lack of exercise during lockdown has triggered huge increase in gout, data suggests
- Hospital admissions for gout have surged due to binge-eating during lockdowns
- Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden and severe joint pain
- The joint pain is usually in your big toe but can also be found in other joints
It was once known as the ‘disease of kings’ – but hospital admissions for gout have surged due to binge-eating and exercising less during the lockdowns, figures suggest.
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 rise in obesity over the same period.
Experts said many spent more time sitting down during the Covid lockdowns and might 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 are eating and drinking them all under the table.’
Hospital admissions for gout have surged due to binge-eating and exercising less during the lockdowns
Gout is one of mankind’s oldest known diseases and dates back to the Egyptians.
Symptoms include sudden and severe joint pain, usually in your big toe but can also be found in other joints in your feet, hands, wrists, elbow or knees.
Some people may also suffer hot, swollen, red skin over the affected joint.
It is caused from having too much uric acid in the body, which can lead to deposits of sodium urate crystals forming in and around the joints, causing pain and discomfort.
It can lead to excruciating pain but is usually treatable with medication such as ibuprofen, or steroids if the pain and swelling do not improve.
But Mr Fry warned sufferers were not getting enough help from the NHS.
‘Gout sufferers are miles from getting the treatment they need and their appalling care is little better than that delivered in the days of the Dark Ages,’ he said.
The NHS recommends getting to a healthy weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking an eating a healthy diet to prevent gout coming back.