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Ancient and modern

How the ancients treated gout

27 August 2022

9:00 AM

27 August 2022

9:00 AM

Medical problems come and go in the media, and at the moment the flavour of the month appears to be gout (from Latin gutta, a ‘drop’, seeping into a joint).

For the Greek doctor Hippocrates, gout (Greek podagra, ‘foot-trap’) was the ‘fiercest, longest and most tenacious of all joint diseases’. But since the ancients did not know that excess uric acid, a natural product of the body, was its cause, their remedies were futile.

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