Aloha Care Monthly Check-Up: Gout - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Aloha Care Monthly Check-Up: Gout

David Steele David Steele
Dr. Christina Lee Dr. Christina Lee

By Tannya Joaquin

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Our monthly check-up found inspiration in house. A "gout break," if you will.

Six of our co-workers all developed gout around the same time. So, we took a closer look at this chronic problem.

Our photographer Darin Akita allowed us to film a procedure to drain the painful build-up from his swollen knee.

Please keep in mind, if you're squeamish, it is a graphic process to remove the uric acid that causes the swelling.

Gout patient David Steele knows the symptoms very well.

"It was swelling, really swollen. Extremely painful to walk. As a matter of fact, you don't want to do nothing," Steele said.

He's been living with gout for eight years and knows what sets it off.

"It flares up when I got salt and also when I eat a whole lot of pork," Steele said.

"A lot of patients can pinpoint exactly what causes gout. Some say it's shrimp, kalua pig, laulau and for some people it is alcohol. Especially the beer," said Dr. Christina Lee, Waimanalo Community Health Center. "Usually you see it in the big toe and the red and swelling. They can get it anywhere in the body.Their feet, their ankles, their knees. Some people get it in their arms or elbows."

Dr. Lee explains exactly what causes gout.

"It's a build up of uric crystal acids in the joint. If you can imagine, rocks between your two bones. That's what happening with the gout," Lee said.

The build up goes on for years, but goes undetected until the first major attack.

There's no cure. The best defense is to avoid the triggers, which vary from patient to patient.

The right diet and medicine can help. Take it from those who have gout, you don't want to get it.

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