Gout has started to affect growing numbers of young people in recent years, with some getting it in their 20s. Dr Stanley Angkodjojo, Consultant, Department of General Medicine, SKH, explained that as society becomes more affluent, younger people are consuming more high-purine foods, like red meat and seafood, and drinking more alcohol, causing gout. Many have also turned to fruit juices, thinking it is a healthier alternative to soft drinks, when in fact, juices contain high amounts of fructose which produce more uric acid that can lead to gout. Dr Angkodjojo described the symptoms of gout, which are often mistaken as early signs of a sprain. Identifying the symptoms of gout is important as untreated gout may lead to the formation of tophi, which can result in joint deformation and disfigurement. Contrary to popular belief, Dr Angkodjojo shared that diet alone does not cause gout and that other contributing factors include genetics, being male and older, obesity, having diabetes and high blood pressure, and taking certain medications. He said that it is possible for patients with gout to live normally without painful attacks and with the right modifications to their lifestyle and diet.
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