(BPT) - At first glance, two men from different states and from different generations would not appear to have much in common. Joseph is a 42-year-old volunteer from Minnesota, and Alton is a 75-year-old accountant from Utah. What they have in common is that both are living with gout and have high uric acid levels.
Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men and affects approximately eight million Americans. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid. This uric acid buildup is also known as hyperuricemia, the medical name for high uric acid in your blood. If you have gout, high uric acid can form crystals in your joints. When this happens, it can lead to inflammation that causes extremely painful gout attacks. Gout flares happen most often in the big toe, but they can also occur in other parts of the body and can last from hours to weeks. The pain is often described as throbbing, crushing or excruciating.
For Alton, the pain of his first gout attack was so intense he thought he had broken a bone in his thumb. He was shocked when his long-time physician told him the pain he was feeling in his thumb was caused by gout. From diagnosis, it took Alton’s physician some time to find a treatment regimen that worked for him. Joseph’s first attack occurred in his big toe, and he continued to experience gout flares over the next four years without knowing the cause. The pain was so severe, it radiated throughout his body at the slightest touch. Upon first hearing that he had gout, Joseph wasn’t sure what it was or what questions he should ask his physician.
There is a long-lived perception of gout being an “old man’s disease,” and “the disease of kings,” which has left many gout patients — like Joseph and Alton — surprised and confused about their initial symptoms and diagnosis. This is why Joseph and Alton chose to share their personal stories in a video series by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. called “I Wish I Knew.” Through their videos, the two men hope to help raise awareness of gout and to encourage others to learn from their experiences.
For Joseph and Alton, being a part of this awareness campaign was also comforting because it helped them understand that they are not alone in living with the condition. “I hope my story will help inspire others living with gout to work with their doctor to find a treatment regimen for them,” Alton says.
“When I was first diagnosed, I did not realize gout was a form of arthritis and that its root cause is high uric acid,” says Joseph, who at diagnosis had a high uric acid level. According to the 2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for managing gout, a goal in treatment of gout is to reduce the uric acid level in the blood to a healthy level, which is below 6 mg/dL. While there is no cure, gout may be managed through diet and lifestyle changes paired with treatment under the guidance of a physician.
In clinical studies, Uloric was shown to be effective in lowering uric acid to healthy levels (less than 6 mg/dL). As many patients on Uloric 40 mg and up to twice as many on Uloric 80 mg reached a healthy uric acid level as those on allopurinol. Uloric has been studied in more than 4,000 patients, in some for more than five years. Individual results may vary.
For tips on managing and living with gout and to watch videos featuring Joseph, Alton and other people with the condition, please visit www.Uloric.com.
Use of ULORIC
ULORIC is a prescription medicine used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout. ULORIC is not for the treatment of high uric acid without a history of gout.
Individual results may vary.
Important Safety Information
Do not take ULORIC if you are taking Azathioprine or Mercaptopurine.
Your gout may flare up when you start taking ULORIC; do not stop taking your ULORIC even if you have a flare. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to help prevent your gout flares.
A small number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths were seen in clinical studies. It is not certain that ULORIC caused these events.
Tell your healthcare professional about liver or kidney problems or a history of heart disease or stroke.
Your healthcare professional may do blood tests to check your liver function while you are taking ULORIC.
The most common side effects of ULORIC are liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain, and rash.