Class Health

Gout: Answers at your Fingertips

  • Buy nowSecond Edition
    ISBN: 9781859593769
  • Buy nowKindle Edition

L Gail Darlington, Elizabeth A Carrey, David Perrett

 Highly Commended at the BMA Book Awards 2014

Gout is an inflammatory arthritic condition, which is becoming increasingly common in both men and women. Characterised by painful, red, swollen joints, gout can occur in acute, intermittent attacks or it can develop into a progressive, crippling chronic disease. Attacks are typically brought on by over-consumption of purine-rich foods and drinks, such as liver, seafood and beer, medications for high blood pressure, being overweight, major surgery, and other medical conditions such as diabetes. Importantly, gout symptoms can be associated with some rare disorders in children and young adults.

Gout: Answers at your Fingertips contains:

Sample questions from the book:

Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction
Part 2 What is gout?
Part 3 Living with Gout
Part 4 Drugs to combat pain and inflammation
Part 5 Drugs to lower the level of urate in the blood
Part 6 Food and drink
Part 7 Gout in children and young adults
Part 8 Research and the Future

Review by the BMA Book Award Panel:

"I think the authors achieve the challenging task of conveying an abundance of detailed information to all these groups. The question and answer format is targeted at patients as the 176 questions are genuine questions asked by patients. It also appeals to doctors as it gives medical readers a good template to answer questions asked by their own patients. It aims to provide detailed information on many aspects of gout including diet, lifestyle, jobs holidays as well as the basics about diagnosis treatment etc. The wide-ranging chapters and the Q&A format and the engaging style all contribute to the book very adequately fulfilling these objectives. One of the authors is a medical educationalist and this is reflected in the style and reading level which cleverly seems to meet the needs of patient and doctor alike. I suspect the book would appeal more to the well-motivated, intelligent, and possibly middle class reader, especially as its nearly 200 pages long. Other booklets on gout for patients that I have seen are generally shorter and more superficial. This book seems more than just an introduction. It would seem to be more of a detailed companion and reference work for the interested sufferer. The wide range of topics covered makes it especially valuable. I was impressed in particular by the section on food and drink which has copious amounts of very useful and practical information. The reader is also signposted to further detailed advice about diet and food preparation in the appendix. This is the second edition (2013) and the previous edition has had several reprints. The book comes across as very up-to-date – especially the chapter on research and the future. The interested reader is also signposted in the appendix to organisations such as Arthritis Research UK and would clearly be kept up-to-date via this route even when the book is five years older. The book reads very well and the influence of the medical educationalist is apparent. The style and mood of the book is also very upbeat and positive with appropriate use of humour and anecdote. Any use of jargon is very adequately explained in simple language and there is a comprehensive glossary of terms at the end of the book. I would definitely recommend the book to the interested reader. There is no shortage of up-to-date and detailed information. GPs and GP registrars would learn from the book. At nearly 200 pages it's definitely more than just an introduction to gout and it might be best to recommend that patients read a shorter leaflet initially (e.g. Arthritis Research UK booklet) before committing to this book. This is an authoritative and up-to-date book covering a large amount of detailed information in an appealing question and answer format. It is much more than just an introduction to the topic and should empower the reader to become expert at self-management of this often distressing and chronic condition. This is a very comprehensive, practical self-help guide for the gout sufferer with an excellent question and answer format covering almost everything a gout sufferer might want to know. It is all put across in a positive and appealing style. There is plenty of information for doctors here as well as patients."

"It is excellent as an information resource for patients and doctors."
Dr Michael L Smith, University of Sheffield

As a sufferer from gout I found that explanations about this condition tended to be very basic and included all the old cliches, attributing it to drink & high-living, and prompted much humorous comment, no doubt thanks to old Punch cartoons featuring ancient gents in Bath chairs. Now, this book sets out the complex causes and, just as important, what can be done to alleviate the pain; it examines thoroughly all current thinking from a wide variety of sources. So bang up to date, and a reassurance that gout is a serious condition to be treated seriously by the medical profession and, assuredly, no joke! 

Frank Barnard, Best selling author & journalist


About the Authors

L Gail Darlington
MD FRCP Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist, Epsom General Hospital, Epsom.

Elizabeth A Carrey BSc PhD Formerly Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, UCL Institute of Child Health, London.

David Perrett BSc PhD Professor of Bio Analytical Science, William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London.

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