Image via creative commons – James Gillray
When trying to describe what gout feels like, I can only describe it as excruciating!To define this would be extremely painful, causing intense suffering, unbearably distressing and torturing and even these words do not paint the full picture.
My unfortunate adventure with my great enemy begins May 2013, although for the sake of this blog we are now going to address gout as Gary! To be honest with you, I’ve never really liked the name Gary anyway so this is fitting for the blog. I would say i’d apologise to any Gary’s reading this, but I don’t really mind upsetting you because its technically all your fault.
Sorry where were we, oh yes, May 2013. I was rudely awoken by an intruder and jolted from my comfortable position to the sudden horrendous, sharp, throbbing pain torpedoing into my right big toe. It felt as though a volcano had erupted and magma was beginning to cascade into the ball of my foot. Every time I went to place my foot on the floor it felt as though Gary grew with anger and proceeded to inflict more pain my way!
I decided to try and wait it out hoping that Gary would get bored, but my patience began to grow thin and desperation started to set in. There was only so much more that I could endure. The medicine was close but yet seemed so far away, I knew that if I reached the target then I would have conquered Gary and vanquished him back into purine particles.
This was it, the moment of truth, I used the element of surprise after elevating my foot for so long and before Gary had time to react, I had reached the treasure of all treasures my Naproxen BP 500 mg! I swallowed two of these tablets and instantly felt a sense of ease.
A couple of hours later and I felt as though I was back to normal, Gary had been defeated. However I knew that my conquest would be short lived and that even though I had won this battle, It didn’t mean that I had won the war which was heading my way.
To be continued………..
Image via creative commons – Nobili Napoletani
As a gout sufferer, I have learnt a few tricks along the way to help minimise the gout attack and maintain a diet that is beneficial to limit irritating the gout itself. What I am about to share with you will not only include food but also medicine to help you.
What is causing this rise in younger people with gout?
The main factors that trigger gout are obesity, high intakes of alcohol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
What medication will help with a gout attack?
Medication is a way to manage gout and can be crucial in the turn around time to get you back to normal without having to be in agony! I experienced the full force of gout one early morning and was in excruciating pain until I took some tablets which worked wonders and relieved the pain within a couple of hours. These tablets are Naproxen BP 500 mg (I would highly recommend these.) A key point that I must stress is that you don’t take just any painkiller or other types of medicine as they can do more damage than help! Medicine to stay away from at all costs are diuretics, bendroflumethiazide, chemotherapy medicines and aspirin. The reason these should be avoided is because they will raise the level of uric acid in you and that will only make your situation much worse.
Image via creative commons – Stewart Chambers
How can I reduce the chances of getting gout without taking medicine?
There are a couple of things which you can do to reduce your chances of getting gout. One thing you can do is change your diet and this will make a big difference, especially by cutting out red meat and alcohol. Keeping hydrated is a sufficient way to ensure that there is a reduced risk of crystals forming in the joints. This will in turn lessen gout attacks. Overindulging in sugary and sweetened foods can lead to weight gain which is linked with obesity which is risk factor of developing gout.
Try to eat your five portions per day as this will be key in keeping on track. A secret tip of mine is to eat black cherries/juice as this helps neutralise uric acid. I also have some sort of vitamin C everyday as this lowers uric acid in your blood. Frequent exercise will also give you a lifestyle that will keep you on the right track to stopping gout attacks.
Image via creative commons – Ton Rulkens
Image via creative commons – Ali
Gout, one of the most painful medical conditions that anyone can have is usually linked with affecting older people over the age of 40. However gout is now increasingly appearing in younger people!
I have experienced gout on a few occasions and I can tell you first hand that it is incomparable to any other feeling I have had to endure, no seriously, it was. My first encounter with gout happened when I was 19 years old and I genuinely thought that my toe was about to fall off, in fact it would have been a pain relief for me at the time if it did.
Ryan Gaze, 20, recently had his first gout attack and was stunned when he found out because he thought only elderly aged people suffered with this. “The pain in my big toe was uncomfortable and felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly in the same spot, which made it unbearable,” described Gaze.
Image via creative commons – James Heilman, MD
There are more than 2 million men and women that are affected by gout. The trigger to what causes it is uric acid. This acid builds up in the joints and forms crystals, which cause extreme pain and swelling.
Rheumatologist Doctor Robert Harris, the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation says that he used to see this form of arthritis in people over 60. However this is not the case anymore as research shows that more young people are being affected by gout as there has been a 50% increase in gout attacks.
“I’m actually seeing younger patients having more acute attacks of gout,” Dr. Harris said.
Gout is no longer just an older-person’s condition and is now becoming a younger-persons problem as well. Hopefully this will raise awareness and kickstart the campaign in preventing this awful disease from affecting our generation!