• Understanding Gout

  • by Danny McGuffin
Gout Pain

Sometimes, a writer is given a blog post that is just perfect for them because they have quite a bit of knowledge on the topic. Unfortunately for me, this post is the perfect topic for me. I have a ton of knowledge on this topic because, unfortunately, I live with gout every day. I have been saddled with this debilitating affliction since 2002 and it has flared up at least two or three times a year since then.

What is Gout?

Besides being the most painful thing I myself have experienced, gout is essentially a form of arthritis. It “flares” up due to a build up of uric acid in the bloodstream, which then crystallizes in a joint, tendon, and the surrounding tissues. Typically, this occurs in the big toe or the ankle, but has been known to affect other joints as well.

Yeah, I have It, What Should I Do?

Sadly, this affliction is difficult to really control without medication. There are some basic lifestyle choices one can make to reduce the amount of flare-ups, though. The most common thought is to just eliminate any foods that contain purines, chemical compounds found in some food. The thinking is to eliminate what is causing gout flare ups to avoid them, right? Well, that is not the case for gout because there are actually purine-rich foods that actually help with flare ups by helping balance the uric acids levels in your body.

However, there are certain kinds of meats you should avoid, specifically such organ meats as kidney, liver and sweatbreads. These types of meat tend to have a much higher purine content in them and will increase your uric acid levels. This also goes for such seafood as trout, mussels, scallops, and tuna.

Alcohol, specifically beer and some distilled liquors, have a similar affect on your body as the organ meats. They increase the uric acid levels in your body and could cause gout flare-ups.

There is a “gout” diet, and the really cool thing about that diet is that is a diet based on eating healthy, which we should be doing on a regular basis anyway.

Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, even when they are high in purine content, will not increase the risk of gout occurring in individuals. This produce selection includes asparagus, spinach, peas, mushrooms, and cauliflower.

For me, gout has been one of the most difficult afflictions I have had to endure. When flare ups occur, there is not a comfortable position to fall asleep in at night. In moments of pain, I wonder if it is just better to cut my toe off (It is not, do not do this). The pain with every movement shoots through your body like electricity. Luckily, as stated above, there are some ways to lessen the symptoms.