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“Don’t get trapped by gout!”

That’s the message that Arthritis New Zealand is hoping to send in a new campaign launching today.

MP for Whangarei, Dr Shane Reti, is the Parliamentary Friends of Arthritis Facilitator and will speak at Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa Marae in South Auckland today to help launch the campaign.

New Zealand has one of the highest occurrences of gout worldwide with over 110,000 New Zealanders suffering from the crippling form of arthritis that can affect all ages.

“As a doctor, I can say gout patients are amongst my favourite! The reason being gout is easily fixed and there aren’t many conditions left in the medical world that you can say that about,” says Dr Reti.

“I want to encourage people to have a conversation with their GP if they think they may have gout. The treatment of gout is cheap and safe. The consequences of gout are expensive and dangerous,” says Dr Reti.

Gout occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the blood which can crystallise causing extreme pain in joints, particularly in the foot. The onset of gout is normally related to a person’s genetic makeup but can be caused by things like a diet consisting of too much seafood or alcohol.

“The simple message of this campaign is if you think you have gout, go and see your GP, there is help available,” says Dr Reti.

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