Famous People With Gout
Gout, a type of arthritis, is far from vanquished from the face of the earth. It’s still here now as it was then, afflicting personages and less-than-famous mortals alike.
This ailment is in fact on the upswing, specifically among males. Today, over eight million people are diagnosed with the condition, a number double that half a century ago.
Historically, gout was considered a disease of the upper class. But this is just a widely held myth; gout is capable of afflicting people of any social standing, let alone physical fitness.
Fame, if anything, is certainly no hindrance to gout. Here is an abbreviated list of famous men, spanning medieval and modern times, who have been diagnosed with gout.
Benjamin Franklin is a popular case. One of America’s founding fathers, who discovered electricity and invented bifocals, often failed to attend meetings for the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. The reason? Gout. Fortunately, Thomas Jefferson went out of his way to let Franklin review the documents at home.
In his bestselling autobiography Perfect I’m Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball, Wells recalled his struggle with the condition, especially its very first flare.
He remembered waking up one morning and walking toward the bathroom when he shrieked “like a six-year-girl” and instinctively flopped down to touch his hurting toe.
At 27, Australian soccer pro Harry Kewell, discovered he had the ailment during the 2006 World Cup.
Tormented by the pain, Kewell could not walk and had to call for crutches.
That bout of gout cost him the game.
King Henry VIII of England is the reason why gout came to be known as a disease of the high-born. Gout assaulted the monarch more often than he beheaded his wives.
Henry, who died in 1547, was famously overweight. Excess weight is a known risk factor for gout.
Two years prior to his death in 1727, Sir Isaac Newton, the English scientist who altered the course of history with his discoveries, suffered from gout bouts in both feet.
After bulking up 60 pounds for the role of Mark David Chapman, the shooter of John Lennon, in Chapter 27, Leto complained of gout-like symptoms in his feet.
The My So-Called Life actor could only walk for a short and was wheeled around as a result.
As it turned out, his body did not easily adjust to the sudden weight gain.
Cheeks has since used his celebrity to raise awareness about the condition. Speaking at the second National Gout Awareness Day in 2008, he highlighted the fact that once gout has advanced, you could not do much to cure it except to relieve the swelling pain with reliable product. Therefore, always monitor your weight and do everything to prevent this excruciating ailment.
Samuel Johnson, the 18th century British writer, suffered from gout since he was 65. As he confided to William Bowles in 1783, his condition never went beyond his ankles but its painfulness did not diminish with time.