I’ve had gout for years and it wasn’t until recently that I had to take this disease seriously. I’ve suffered flare ups from time to time that usually last a day or two, but this last occurrence which I am still dealing with has lasted almost 3 weeks now. It all started with an ankle sprain on a trip to Costa Rica. I had also broken my ankle several years ago and the trauma brought on from a twisted ankle made me believe that I had broken it again. After a few weeks of healing I was fine, but during those weeks of healing and feeling sorry for myself I really turned up the calorie intake for foods I should be staying away from and over indulging in beer and alcohol.
Sure enough on a business event at a “Beer Fest” taking place at Lake Las Vegas, I felt a flare up come over me. At first it was a little tingle in my big toe and then I could feel it swell up my foot. The next day I took about 6 tablets of aleve and in about an hour the pain had gone away. I decided I was good enough to play golf. As I hobbled around the course hitting my shots, and taking photos, I felt fine, but when I got back to my room the pain erupted all over my legs and feet. Gout had officially taken over.
Gout is a disease that creates too much uric acid for a person to digest. The acid then forms crystal like substances that attack the joint of the person carrying the disease. For most people the joint attacked is usually the big toe. For me this is also the case, the joint on my left foot leading to my big toe is always where the flare ups begin. Gout can also move to other parts of the body and also create swelling and discomfort.
Foods and beverages that are high in purines are what can trigger a gout attack. The disease is also hereditary. From my research the number one cause for a gout flare up is beer, then alcohol, then consuming foods high in purines, like beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and other proteins. Also, some vegetables like asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Basically all the things I like so for a person like me this is a drastic wake up call to change my habits.
For treatment while I’m dealing with this attack, my Doctor has asked me to eliminate all the foods and beverages I mentioned above and also put me on daily doses of Celecoxib and Allopurinol. In addition, I have been given 4 days of pain medicine to numb the flare ups.
My best advice to you, don’t get Gout, and if you do don’t subject yourself to foods and beverages high in purines. It’s just not worth it.
Here are some useful links: