How to talk to friends and family about gout

By Gary Ho

Isolating. Unbearable. Frustrating. If you have gout, you know that that’s how the disease can sometimes feel.

Finding support from friends and family can make a big difference. But gout patients may feel embarrassed to bring up their condition.

If you are struggling to talk about gout with your loved ones, these tips can help you get started.

  1. Plan a time to talk.
    Find time to talk to your friends and family about your condition. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it should be in a space where you feel comfortable sharing your journey. The more comfortable you feel in your surroundings, the easier it will be to talk to them.

  2. Explain the disease.
    Take some time to explain the disease and how it affects you. Many people do not know what gout is. Make it clear that gout is not funny or self-induced, but rather a form of arthritis that can be debilitating.

  3. Share your experience.
    Describe what a gout attack feels like. Show them how this disease has affected your life. Maybe you can no longer participate in your favorite hobby. Maybe it’s gotten in the way of your career. Your friends and family may not be able to relate to your pain, but they can come to understand how the condition affects your life.

  4. Continue the conversation.
    Conversations about gout are not “one and done.” It’s normal for your gout experiences to come up in casual and ongoing conversations. Make sure that your friends and family know that they can always ask you questions. Don’t be afraid to lean on them when you are experiencing an attack.

Living with gout can be challenging, but the support of your loved ones goes a long way. And don’t forget that a community of over 14,000 gout patients is just one click away on the Gout Support Group of America Facebook page. We are here to help and support you in your journey.