Do you have a friend or loved one who has gout? It can be hard to know how to help, especially when you see them experiencing pain.
The good news is there are many ways you can show support.
- Listen. Despite the debilitating pain caused by gout, it is a highly stigmatized disease. Misconceptions and a lack of information can keep people from discussing their condition. Let them know that you are there to listen to them and support them.
- Encourage them to seek treatment. While there is no cure for gout, it can be successfully managed. Let your friend or loved one know that there are treatments that can help them manage their pain. Offer to help them find a rheumatologist. Remind them that seeking treatment is brave and that many patients, like GSGA co-founder Gary Ho, have been able to live flare-free for decades.
- Help them prepare for their appointments. Visiting the doctor, especially for the first time, can be intimidating. Offer to go over questions they will want to ask their doctor, or to join their appointments and take notes.
- Tell them about support groups. Support groups exist to connect patients with one another. The Gout Support Group of America Facebook group is a great place to start. With over 15,000 members, the group provides community support and information about management.
- Ask how you can help. Maybe they need an ice pack during a flare. Or help staying on track with medications. Make sure you ask your friend or loved one how you can support them as they manage their disease.
Gout can be isolating, but with these tips, you will be well on your way to supporting your friends and loved ones on their gout journey.