Racing to spread awareness for Gout

(WVLT) -- Pit crew chiefs Todd Berrier and Kevin "Bono" Manion have teamed up with the 'Gout Pit Stop' campaign to help spread awareness and educate the public on the painful disease. They'll also give fans around the country the opportunity to take part in the Richard Petty Driving Experience Sweepstakes.

For those who aren't familiar with gout, Dr. Theodore Fields (a men's health advisor) says, "Gout is a disease that's due to the buildup of uric acid in your system. It's either due to making too much or you're not able to get rid of it through your system...either way it gets high in your blood, deposits out in the joints, and causes infalmmation." The most common spot affected is the big toe, which can be an intense pain making it difficult to walk. It can eventually attack your other joints, like the ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists. It's also kown as the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men.

There are specific treatments for gout, both for sudden attacks and for prevention.

Men's Health Network and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. have partnered to launch the "Gout Pit Stop," an educational campaign to raise awareness about gout, a type of arthritis that affects approximately 8.3 million people in the U.S. The campaign, which also includes a sweepstakes, invites people to learn more by making their own "Gout Pit Stop" at race tracks across the country, as well as virtually at the campaign website,

Berrier describes the campaign to "just educate people on what gout is and that it is something that just happens to really common people." Before he knew he had gout, Berrier actually thought it had something to do with his diet. "What Kevin and I do weekly is pretty hard-pressed. We're really fast, we work really fast. It's something that affected me a lot. Now that I manage it pretty regularly, I don't have the flare-ups that I had so it's a lot better."

Manion encourages people to go to the Gout Pit Stop website to "learn about gout, and it's a great opportunity to campaign in a sweepstakes to win in a Richard Petty driving experience, so go to that website and you'll get an opportunity to have that driving experience."

From July to November, the Gout Pit Stop is visiting several race tracks across the country to raise awareness about gout. If you're heading to the track this season, be sure to visit the Gout Pit Stop that will be located in the sponsorship villages for a chance to meet Kevin and Todd.

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