Friday, January 15, 2010

Gout

Yep. Like something an old man would get. Gout. Doesn't it just sound awful? When you add in that one of my nodules on my thyroid is big enough to be considered a goiter the things wrong with my body just really sound gross. In fact when I went to the Dr. today my Dr. totally laughed out loud that I had both gout and a goiter. In fact, her words were (while laughing), "You have gout and a goiter! Wow. That's sexy." Then she totally apologized for laughing at me and I told her it was totally ok. If I didn't make fun of myself for these things I'd probably go insane.

So yeah. I have gout. In my big toe. What's gout you say? According to WebMd: Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe.

What causes gout? Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid is not harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in the blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints. (It's those crystals that cause the pain)

What are the symptoms? The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness, and sharp pain in your big toe. You can also get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees. The attacks can last a few days or many weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not happen for months or years.

My Dr. did a blood test today to check the levels of uric acid in my blood. She's also testing for another thing that also causes crystals to form in the joint, but we didn't talk much about that. Gout is very uncommon in women and is usually just seen in postmenopausal women. So how did I end up with it? Well, there is a link to gout and thyroid problems, but it's not certain. It could be because people in my family suffer from gout. Who knows?

So what do I do from here? Well if my blood results show that I do have high levels of uric acid then I have to stay away from foods that are high in purines. Purines occur naturally in our foods. What's surprising is that many of the foods high in purines are pretty healthy. Foods with high levels are foods that are usually high in protein. While I may not have to cut anything out, I have to be aware of my intake. All things in moderation.

Foods to limit (very high in purines):

* Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains
* Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb
* Game meats
* Any other meats in large amounts
* Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops
* Gravy
* Beer

Foods to eat occasionally (moderately high in purines, but may not raise your risk of gout):

* Fish and seafood (other than high purine seafood)
* Oatmeal, wheat bran, and wheat germ

Foods that are safe to eat (low in purines):

* Green vegetables and tomatoes
* Fruits and fruit juices
* Breads and cereals that are not whole-grain
* Butter, buttermilk, cheese, and eggs
* Chocolate and cocoa
* Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages
* Peanut butter and nuts

Dairy products that may lower your risk of gout:

* Low-fat or nonfat milk
* Low-fat yogurt

One site suggests keeping alcohol intake down to 1 drink 3 times per week and protein intake to 4-6oz per day. My uncle that suffers from gout also swears by Pom juice



and I've been gulping the stuff down. I've also kept my foot elevated, soaked it in Epsom salts and have been eating cherries since they also help with joints. My Dr. put me on some major anti-inflammatories today as well.

Hopefully it'll clear up and hopefully it's just a random occurrence and not something I'll suffer from for the rest of my life. We shall see!

Oh and for those that are curious and like gross stuff. Here's a picture of a foot with gout. Mine DOES NOT look like this. My toe barely got puffy. Both the Dr. and I think it was because of all the stuff I've been doing. Sorry. I googled and it was too gross. Ugh. It wasn't that the foot was so bad it was the toenails. Ewww! People have some funky looking toenails! So if your curious, google. Otherwise I can tell you, generally the side of your foot, right there at the joint of your big toe can get really puffy (sometimes golf ball sized) and red. Sometimes it even gets hot. Mine did none of this. My toe was a little swollen and today I have a tiny bit of swelling at the joint. My feet both look quite a bit alike.

7 comments:

  1. 1. Big fat BOO!
    2. I don't see 'no wine'. I see 'no beer'...
    3. But wait! You have an excuse for
    chocolate! It's on the good list, with coffee. So...at least there's that?

    Hang tough!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I confess, I googled. I had to. I'm morbid like that.

    Hope it all gets cleared up soon! (I might've heard somewhere that wine is good for gout....just sayin')

    ReplyDelete
  3. DISLIKE!!! OMG I'm so sorry this happened to you. I remember learning about gout when I visited the Ben Franklin exhibit, and he had it. It was considered the rich man's disease cause all the rich men could afford meat and beer.
    Feel better!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, since googling I haven't seen no wine - I've seen limited alcohol and no beer. Maybe my Dr. got confused. Who knows. I'll be happy with a glass of wine, but man, I love good beers too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a list! I'll say a prayer its not the uric or it sounds like you're going vegan!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well hey, at least bread that's not whole grain (and butter!) is on the good list! I think I could probably survive on sourdough bread and butter alone!

    Seriously though, I'm sorry. The whole situation sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You definitely need to drop sodas, but if you're on a Gout diet you should also start checking labels and avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup in it.

    ReplyDelete

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