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Gout was once known as the "disease of kings." It was known to only afflict the very wealthy, particularly royalty. King Henry the VIII of England was one such king. Gout treatment today looks very different than it did back in Henry's day. Here is why King Henry the VIII wishes he had a podiatrist (and a good pain management center) back in his day.
The Cause of Gout Was Largely Unknown
Doctors back in Henry's day were largely unable to understand the complicated inner workings of the human body. As such, their theories about the causes of diseases such as gout are often comical to people today.
Gout is caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. This happens when your kidneys allow a build-up of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is produced when you eat red meat, shellfish, and foods high in fructose, and consume alcohol.
However, back in the 16th century, doctors could only guess at the causes of gout. While they could see that gout was a disease primarily of the rich, they assumed it was from sexual debauchery (or venery) along with excessive drinking.
They did not, however, realize the connection between diet and the development of gout. So, in cases like King Henry the VIII's (who was morbidly obese in his later years), his gout continued to ravage his body due to a lack of dietary changes.
Treatment Was Sorely Lacking
Because physicians were largely unsure of the exact causes of gout, treatment was far worse than it is today. Restricting the diet was rarely called for until the late 18th century when scientists first understood the microscopic causes of gout.
So, in Henry the VIII's time, he may have been advised to lay off the alcohol (and the women), but it is highly unlikely that the doctors told him to stop eating red meat or rich foods. Colchicine is one gout treatment that was available at that time that is still used today. However, it derives from a plant that was discovered in ancient Egypt and would not have been readily available worldwide.
Worst of all, back in King Henry's day, they didn't have podiatrists (also known as chiropodists), or anti-inflammatory drugs. Modern-day gout is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs as soon as a flare up occurs. This reduces pain and swelling in the joints. If you suffer from chronic gout, prescription medications are available to help regulate and reduce uric acid levels in your body.
Pain management and podiatric care today makes gout manageable and treatable. Whereas King Henry the VIII is thought to have died from complications of gout, today the condition is rarely fatal. By seeking out treatment at a pain management center, you will be able to keep your gout under control and live a normal life again. Visit a website like http://www.illinoispain.com to get started.