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Ansel Adams – A Picture of Gout Misery
Ansel Adams – A Picture of Gout Misery

Ansel Adams & Gout Introduction

Ansel Adams (20 February 1902 - 22 April 1984) was a Californian most famous for his Yosemite photographs. But also slightly famous for his gout. Unfortunately, we can't ask him why he couldn't control gout better. However, we can learn lessons from how gout affected his life.

Ansel Adams & Gout Purpose

I wrote Ansel Adams: A Picture of Gout Misery to help GoutPal Victims find ways to avoid allowing gout to control their lives. Because if you get the right professional medical help, you can control your gout.

Ansel Adams – A Picture of Gout Misery

For an insight into how gout affected Ansel Adams, we need look no further than his biography by Mary Alinder[1]. Which gives three examples of the effects of gout on his work and life.

1 Gout and Work

In the first reference, we see how gout made work as a photographer difficult for Adams:
With age, arthritis and gout began to afflict Ansel, and his larger view cameras became increasingly cumbersome for him to operate. He found it necessary to have an assistant to carry and set up his equipment; even making the necessary adjustments before an exposure was difficult for him.
Then it continues to describe how switching to lighter cameras helped.

2 Gout and Alcohol

Secondly, we see how gout affected Adams' enjoyment of life. As he frequently enjoyed drinks with his wife after work: Formerly a Scotch and bourbon drinker, Ansel had now switched to vodka because it had less effect on his gout. But see Gout and Alcohol for better insight into the effects of alcohol on gout.

3 Gout and General Health

Finally, we see the all-too-common problems of comorbidities with gout: An expanding list of ailments had been besieging Ansel for years, with accelerating frequency. While he was still in his twenties, his teeth plagued him so much, the pain especially severe on freezing High Sierra nights, that he had them all pulled. He was afflicted with arthritis and gout.

Was Ansel Adams Ashamed of Gout?

So we've seen three examples from Adams' biographer describing how gout impacted his work. Yet there's no mention of the "G" word in his autobiography. Because all we read is
The Spencers and Adamses collaborated on the Bracebridge Dinner from 1929 to 1975. I always enjoyed these extroverted experiences, but arthritis takes its toll and the twelve long processionals became too much for me to lead[2].
Perhaps he was suffering other forms of arthritis. As well as gout. So using the all-encompassing arthritis was sufficient. Or perhaps, like many people, he was ashamed of referring to gout. Because we gout sufferers are often made to feel that gout is self-inflicted from over-indulgence.

Interestingly, Adams also refers to his mother suffering arthritis. So could it be that his condition, as with most gout sufferers, was inherited? See Hereditary Gout for more information.

Ansel Adams – A Picture of Gout Misery
Ansel Adams – A Picture of Gout Misery

Ansel Adams & Your Gout

You have learned how gout affected Ansel Adams' life. So will you allow gout to spoil your work and pleasure?

If you still haven't started a gout management plan, you should consult your doctor about starting one. However, if you want help to prepare for that consultation, please contact me.

Leave Ansel Adams – A Picture of Gout Misery to read about other Famous People With Gout. Or return to your GoutPal Plan For Gout Victims.

Ansel Adams & Gout References

  1. Alinder, M.S., 2014. Ansel Adams: a biography. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
  2. Alinder, M.S. and Adams, A., 2017. Ansel Adams: An Autobiography. Hachette UK

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