Gout image.

For quite a while I have been suffering from severe pain in my foot & did a Google search to see what it might be & it looked like Gout.

My problem's with Gout.

I changed my diet & started eating more fruit but it came back, so, I have finally done what I should have done a while ago, I went to see a real Doctor. He has confirmed what everybody else thought, I have got gout. He did a quick examination of the swollen appendage (my left big toe) & then wrote me a prescription. I have to take two different tablets when I get my prescription from the chemist, one I believe is treatment & one for pain control.

A little more worrying was the immediate treatment I received from the surgery nurse before I left the surgery. The Doctor gave me my prescription & sent me to see the male nurse. He asked me to drop my shorts & pants & then stuck a small prick in my bottom & injected me with something. I must say I didn't feel a thing apart from a small numbing of my right buttock but the pain in my toe is already better, less than an hour later.

What is Gout?

Gout is a condition caused by a buildup of uric acid in joints & other areas of the body & is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness & swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. These attacks can happen over & over unless gout is treated. Over time, they can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues.

If gout isn't treated over long periods of time, the crystals can form lumps under the skin around the joint. They’re called tophi. They don’t hurt, but they can affect the way the joint looks & if the crystals accumulate in the urinary tract, they can form kidney stones.

Treatment of Gout.

The best advice is to always consult your Doctor first for diagnosis & treatment, unlike me, go to see your doctor sooner rather than later.

The process that caused gout will have been going on in your body for a while.  No matter how long you've had gout, your overall health, the foods you eat, the medicines you take & more can play a role in how you treat gout.

To change your habits & improve your health so another attack is a lot less likely you will have to watch what you eat. Gout is caused by a high level of uric acid in your blood. It builds up in your joints and leads to a flare. So you need to cut out foods that raise it.

Watch out for trigger foods like:

  • Red meat, especially organ meats like liver, tongue & sweetbreads.
  • Seafood, like fish and shellfish.
  • High-fat meals.
  • Alcohol, especially beer & liquor.
  • Sugary foods & drinks

That list might seem hard to swallow. No more beer? No more steak? But you may not need to cut them out completely. It may be enough to just limit these foods. Some people can eat steak but not crab, some can have a beer without a problem, others can’t. You have to figure out what your own triggers are. Again get advice from your Doctor & make a note of what you have eaten recently when an attack occurs.

It’s not just about cutting back, you need to add some healthier foods, too. In general, a heart-healthy diet for people with gout, with lots of vegetables, whole grains & few processed foods. For proteins, choose options that protect against gout-like:

  • Low-fat dairy, like skim milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
  • Beans, soy, and other plant proteins.

While it is not known for sure, other foods & supplements could help lower uric acid & possibly your chances of a flare-up of gout. They include:

  • Cherries (or cherry juice or extract).
  • Coffee.
  • Vitamin C supplements.

Make sure you ask your doctor before you start to use any of these foods or supplements to control gout.

Finally, don’t try fad diets. Fasting or losing weight too quickly can boost uric acid levels and trigger a flare.

My treatment going forward.

Strangely after reading some of this information on the internet I realise it may have been my dieting that has caused gout to flare up. I have been losing weight over the last few years but maybe recently my dieting & poor diet because of my desire to lose more weight has caused the flare-up. People that know me well, will know that I have cut down my drinking considerably, now only going out once or twice a week rather than every day or for any excuse. My diet has got a lot better than it was but maybe it needs to be more balanced.

Hopefully moving forward I can continue to lose weight & stop getting very painful bouts of gout by continuing to cut down my excesses & having a more balanced diet.