Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Awww Shit. I Got the Gout. Seriously.

About a month ago, the middle toe of my right foot hurt where that second joint of the foot meets the metatarsal. It hurt badly. Having been out the night before at an Irish festival, I figured I must've slipped in a muddy hole or off a curb at some point and sprained or even broken my foot. Yes, it hurt that badly.

A day later, the pain faded and I thought "Gee, that was weird." A week later the pain returned briefly and quickly faded. A week after that, a dull ache appeared for a day in the same secondary knuckle of my left big toe. I said to Mrs. Shambles "is there any weird thing that attacks your toe knuckles?" almost jokingly.

Well, today I can barely walk. The pain in my left big toe is probably twice as bad as as the break I had at once suffered, mostly because there is a constant, inflamed throbbing paired with the pain caused by the crystals of uric acid that are forming in the joint. (note: not hyperbole; site after site describes gout as "one of the most painful of the rheumatic conditions" fuck.)

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that. Gout is when your body holds on to too much uric acid. That uric acid - for reasons unknown - crystallizes in the big toe joints of men to start (in general - other joints are affected and it also affects women). It's been a chronicled condition for some 2000 years, but no one's exactly sure why it happens.

But they do know what contributes to it: purines. What has lots of purines? Shellfish, other seafood, rich meats, alcohol (especially beer), yeast, mushrooms, asparagus, and cauliflower, amongst other things. This list reads like my core diet.

And the rest of the common knowledge is jibberish. For example, dairy is shown to provide relief in some, but increased lipids in the blood are a risk factor. Oh, and a lack of exercise and being 25 lbs over my ideal weight isn't helping

There are prescription options, but they have more side effects than results. So that leaves natural remedies. Based on my extensive research efforts, dark berries (specifically cherries[?]) and apple cider vinegar are the way to go, as well as anything with antioxidants - like more dark berries - and avoiding anything on the purine list. Boo.

So I've already had a liter of black cherry juice (no, really, I'm not in the mood for -- okay, it's fucking hilarious) with some ACV (yech), and I'm planning for a full-on bomb this evening: another liter of organic cherry concentrate, some more ACV, concentrated Acai juice, and a pint of blueberries. Your prayers and thoughts are appreciated.

The bitch of the bunch is that everything I read talks about 80's and 60's and 50's and late 40's. I'm 32. My (online) name is Ricky. And I have gout. And it hurts like a motherfucker.

[Side note: I have not been officially diagnosed by a doctor, but the symptoms of gout are so specific that I have no doubt as to what I have. If I cannot remedy it on my own, I will have to push the med option.]

So, anyone know anyone with this? Remedies that worked? I'd love to hear from you.


akb said...

oh, sad. my youngest sister (pseudo-anonymity, right?) got gout a couple months ago; turns out she also has grave's disease, along with many other of the risk factors you mentioned. but she saw the dr and got better pretty quickly, I believe...

Cal Orey, Author-Intuitive said...

diet? usually eating a healthful diet, not super rich, should prevent gout, no? read: fresh fruit, veggies, fish, nuts, olive oil...and maintaining your ideal weight with exercise.

Cal Orey, Author-Intuitive said...

yep, take a look at this link above. follow the mediterranean diet and lifestyle so this won't haunt u again.

Randal Graves said...

That's what you get for drinking the devil's brew!

Seriously, best of luck on a speedy getting rid of that bastard acid.

Ricky Shambles said...

Thank you for the well-wishing. After many, many hours of research, I've settled on the cherry juice (sometimes with ACV, blech), dark berries, other fruit, lots of celery, high-dose vitamin C which reduces serum levels of uric acid, and lotsa lotsa water.

Keeping a healthy diet, reducing alcohol, and spending more time on my bike than my computer chair should fend it off in the future.

I'd say, 24 hours later, that the pain's about 1/3 better. Updates tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


My father has been dealing with gout for over 25 years. He is a beer drinker and for many years, ate a lot of red meat and cheese, all in excess.

I have been going to a herbalist for my own reasons for about one year. Because Ive had some personal success with my own health, one day I asked her opinion of natural remedies for gout. She pointed me in the direction of DANDELION tea. That's right, we said goodbye to Indocin, Cholchicine and other traditional perscriptions that he would take for flare-ups. Dandelion worked like a charm. If you find it bitter, add something like a little Stevia to the mix or some freeze dried berries.

I belong to a health forum on Yahoo and started sharing this information with some of the members there, and received a lot of positive feedback.

I could send you a link to what I bought him, but I dont want to appear like Im promoting any one particular product. I chose a Japanese company to do business with, awesome quality! Just find one that is pure and free of chemical preservatives. Or make a visit to a herbalist in your area and talk to them about what has happened to you. They will go over everything, including dietary considerations. Another great idea is to find a Chinese herbalist with credibility in your town and talk things over with them. You wont be sorry, and you'll avoid getting tangled up with unneccessay xrays etc.

Good luck,
Sheila, NH

Ricky Shambles said...

Looks like not-gout, but thank you for the tea remedy. I'm sure I'll need that at some point. Not soon, but at some point.

John Paolo said...

Welcome to the world of no fat and no beer!

honey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ricky Shambles said...

Boo honey. Your comment was nice until it turned into spam...