“The Rich Man’s Disease”
If you have no idea what Gout is or have not personally experienced an episode, you are very lucky. Some of my friends and family battle gout on occasion and while I can sympathize with them, I could not fully understand it until I personally became one of the lucky people to join the Gout club. Prevention is key to curbing an attack.
Of all the days for a flareup of gout to happen to me was this past Easter Sunday. It came on suddenly and quickly flared up. It has been very painful from the onset and I dread what it would feel like if it becomes a full blown episode.
What is Gout? Gout is a form of arthritis that when inflamed causes red, tender, hot and swollen joints. Gout is caused by crystals accumulating in the joint. These urate crystals form when the body has high levels of uric acid in the blood. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines which are substances that are found naturally in the body and some foods.
Gout has been called the “Rich Man’s disease due to the foods eaten that can be a contributing factor in causing a flareup. Foods such as seafood (shrimp and lobster), sauces and gravy along with certain meats and beverages such as beer and drinks high in fruit sugar. Years ago it was something the rich tended to develop as they could afford such delicacies.
Gout is an affliction that I would not wish on my worst enemy. It can become very painful to the point that a person cannot wear shoes or have anything even touch the area affected. It is also hereditary. My hubby’s father and grandfather had gout. His grandfather would be out in the middle of winter while at his job working on the railroad with his toes exposed to the elements. He had cut the toe portion of his boot off along with the same portion of his sock. He couldn’t have anything touch that area. So very painful that he would rather have the toes bared to the elements of snow and cold and risk frostbite than to have that portion of his foot locked up in a boot.
I have seen the pain that gout can cause because my hubby battles the pain. He has recurring gout in his toe. Although gout in the toe is most common, it can also occur in other joints such as the knee, elbow, ankle, wrist and hands (fingers).
When he feels the slightest pain of it coming on, he takes his prescription of Indomethacin which is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory that is taken to reduce fever, pain, stiffness, and swelling from inflammation. Sometimes he catches it in time while others he doesn’t. The swelling, redness and pain can last for a few days or longer. Sometimes he can’t walk on his foot and is laid up in bed until it goes away.
The gout that I am experiencing is in my knee and the pain is beyond description. I would take one of the hubby’s Indomethacin but I’ve had that before and I can’t take it. The medication is strong and not easy on the stomach (even when taken with food) that it makes me so nauseous – I vomit.
I asked myself “why all of a sudden am I experiencing this!” Lucky me! The reason is because I am “changing” or almost gone through it ( I hope because these hot flashes are killing me). Men tend to develop gout more so than woman because of their naturally higher levels of uric acid. However, once a woman ages and is at the end stages of menopause, woman can develop gout. It is at this time when the uric acid level in a woman are at about the same levels of a man.
I think it’s time that we look to being more proactive (more than we are today) and making a change to our diet. I find it really hard to steer away from foods that cause it. We do eat foods that help prevent gout but but I’m going to be adding a lot more to the list.
Home Remedies for Gout
Many tips and other home remedies can be found on the website: https://www.organicfacts.net
Some Steps to Take when you feel Gout coming on
Calling and making a doctors appointment is always the best thing to do because getting treatment within the first 24 hours of the start of an attack can lessen not only the severity but the amount of time the attack lasts.The doctor can prescribe medication that can work better than the over the counter medication and also conduct other tests to confirm that it is indeed gout. One of these tests is a joint fluid test.
Sometimes, making an appointment and being able to see the doctor within 24 hours is next to impossible. There are some things that can be done to help until a doctor can be seen.
#1 Take medication!
I’ve been taking some Aleve (a form of naproxen) that is an easily purchased over-the-counter medication. I take it for my everyday Arthritis so I always have some on hand.
#2 Get that Ice Pack! I’m old school and would rather use a bag of frozen veggies like peas or corn. I find it is much more comfortable to use than ice.
#3 Fluids Fluids Fluids! Uric acid (which is the main reason why gout is so painful) can be flushed out of the system by drinking a lot of water.
#4 Elevate! Raise your foot (if the gout is in that area) with pillows so it’s higher than your chest. This can help lessen swelling.
#5 If the area affected is in the toe, cut the toe portion out of a pair of socks.
#6 Bedding! If you use a top sheet or even if you don’t, make sure to tuck the sheet or blanket in on the sides of the bed to keep it in place rather than tucking it in at the bottom of the bed. You can position the cover so it rests just above the ankle or higher up the leg. This will ensure that no fabric touches the toe and causes more pain.
#7 Keep the Pressure off! If you need to walk around, use an aid like a cane.
#8 Leave the Beer Alone! Beer is very high in purines which causes the body to create uric acid. Also, alcohol prevents uric acid from leaving the body.
Do you have Gout? Have any tips or tricks that aren’t mentioned above? I’d love to hear what works for you.
Opinions in this post are honest, and my own. I have not been compensated in any way.
Christine is a mom, grandmother to an energetic 6yr old and newborn grandson born January 28th, 2018. Christine is also a fur mom to one ‘fur baby’, a dog named Tracker who is never far from Christine’s side. A devoted gardener, during the spring and summer months Christine can normally be found tending to her flower and vegetable gardens. Living in Southern Ontario near Lake Erie, Christine enjoys spending time outdoors and is an avid hiker. She also loves doing small diy projects in her spare time.
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