A Bout With Gout


A Bout With Gout

When I was young, my dad had a very severe case of gout.  As I grew older, I

Gout: the disease of kings

Gout: the disease of kings (Photo credit: DanCentury)

saw him suffer more and more with the crippling disease.  He not only had it in his feet, but he got it in his hands and elbows as well.  As a matter of fact, his doctor told him that he had the most severe case he had ever treated. Of course, I’m sure everyone who has ever suffered with gout would say they feel they have the worst case.  I actually had my first “flare-up” of the despicable ailment in December of 2004.  Thankfully, I now no longer suffer with the disorder. Sadly, my father died at age 59 from renal failure brought on by diabetes.

What is Gout?  According to the National Arthritis Data Workgroup, an estimated 6 million people in the United States report having experienced gout at some point in their lives. In fact, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over the age of 40.

So, we know that it’s a form of arthritis, but there’s a lot more to it. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that is caused by high uric acid levels in your blood. Gout attacks occur when excess uric acid forms crystals, causing inflammation in your joints that leads to swelling and pain. As your uric acid level rises, so does the potential for gout and gout flares. Over time, gout attacks can become more severe, last longer, and occur more often. Decreasing your uric acid to the recommended level (less than 6 mg/dL) can reduce the risk of gout attacks over the long term. And there are options that may help get you there.

Gout Signs & Symptoms  Gout flares usually strike suddenly, at night, and without any warning. During the attack, the affected area becomes hot, red, swollen, and extremely tender. Having gout may sometimes feel like your toe is a volcano erupting into a hot, fiery flare.

Gout may be best known for causing harsh pain in the toe. While most gout attacks do occur in the big toe, they can occur in other parts of the body as well. As I mentioned, my dad had attacks in his hands and elbow as well.

What Can One Do?  Healthy Choices!  A lot of people misunderstand the role of diet in gout, but here are some good tips that you can discuss with your family doctor:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, like water.  Fluids like water help remove uric acid from the body. Alkaline ionized water is a great choice. Avoid beer and other alcoholic beverages!
  • Add low-fat dairy products to your diet. Eating more of these dairy products is associated with a decreased risk of gout.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight, and get plenty of exercise.
  • Limit your intake of high purine foods (beef, pork, and lamb)
  • Avoid spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, and mushrooms

The foods you eat aren’t necessarily the cause of gout. To best address gout, you need a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses healthy lifestyle changes including diet and exercise, pain management for gout flares, and the long-term treatment of high uric acid that causes gout.

Part of coming up with this plan is having an honest discussion with your doctor about what you are doing right now.

What is your daily diet like?

Are you taking herbal supplements or eating a lot of particular foods that you heard might help? One of the best supplements I discovered that helped my gout is Re:Flex.  It can’t be found in stores, but can be ordered online at https://store.myvollara.com/%28raines%29/Site/ReFlex

What kind of exercise are you doing and how frequently?

Are you taking your medication as prescribed?

Your doctor can tell you whether or not you are on the right track. I mentioned in the beginning that I no longer agonize from gout.  I had my last flare in 2004.  I found relief by losing weight, avoiding or decreasing the amount of high purine foods I take in. I also drink alkaline ionized water on a daily bases, and I take Re:Flex as mentioned previously.  My doctor insisted on prescribing a medication for me, and he did for a while; however, I saw what the long-term use of some of the medications did for my father and I didn’t want to follow that path.

Hopefully, this information has been helpful and if you suffer from “bouts of gout”, you get some relief.

#          #          #

Brian Raines is not a healthcare provider, and does not render medical advice or services, and the information in this blog should never be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare provider. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a disease or health problem. You should instead always consult your physician or other healthcare provider for such medical advice or services. 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

One Response

  1. […] A Bout With Gout (brianeraines.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: