Last week while I was on a business trip I woke up in the middle of the night we a gout attack. I had no idea what was happening, but it freaking hurt. It was sensitive to the touch, the big toe looked swollen, and the inside of that area felt like sand in-between the joints. Luckily I had my travel cane, which I used to support my weight. All I had with me to alleviate the pain was low dose aspirin, which I found out later is something one should NOT do with gout. I can confidently say that this pain hurt like hell and I felt like I was dragging my left foot through out the day.
On the 3 hour drive back home I could feel every bump on the road. When I got home, I contacted the Kaiser advise nurse and followed all her instructions. Next day I had a video conference call with a doctor, who diagnosed the pain and physical look of my feet as gout. I still need to get a blood test in a week or two. This is what my left foot looked like compared to my right. I’ve seen worse. This discoloration and peeling is my left over tan and sunburn from our Kauai trip earlier this month.
For now, what it means for me is a lifestyle and diet change. For those of you that know me, I love/appreciate food. I’m usually the cook of the house. In my down time I search for recipes, attend cooking classes when an opportunity shows up, I watch Master Chef, etc. I have a passion for cooking. Now, everything I love, seafood, steak, dessert, etc. are for the most part on the avoid list of food for people with gout. This make me sad. It’s only been a week and I haven’t fully accepted or gotten my hands around living with gout.
But you know, I’d rather cut back/eliminate all these goodies so that I don’t have a gout attach again. I don’t wish this pain on anyone. It’s a pain, it’s a shock, and now I have to step back each time I decide on a meal. Is it good, is it bad, is it on the OK list or Avoid list, etc. If it’s on a moderate list, what’s the level of acid/purine, etc. I have to overthink each meal until I get a good rhythm going as far as meal selection or preparation.
I am still sticking with our Hello Fresh subscription, I just have to make other healthier choices. For the meals in-between, again I just have to make healthier choices. In addition to a new diet, I am looking at other natural ways to eliminate gout flare up, e.g. drinking more water, taking supplements, more Vitamin C, etc. After Googling ways to manage gout, I have together list of things I saw sites had in common. As of today, my list looks like this:
Halibut 133 mg
Japanese sea bass 119 mg
Yellow striped flounder 113 mg
Carp 103 mg
• Low-fat and nondairy fat products, such as yogurt and skim milk
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Nuts, peanut butter, and grains
• Fat and oil
• Potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta
• Eggs (in moderation)
• Meats like fish, chicken, and red meat are fine in moderation (around 4 to 6 ounces per day).
• Vegetables: You may see veggies like spinach and asparagus on the high-purine list, but studies show they don’t raise your risk of gout or gout attacks.
• Vitamin C Supplement
• Ibuprofen (not aspirin)
• Take potassium citraite
• Mix 1 TSP baking soda and 12oz water before bedtime
Anchovies 410 mg
Trout, unspecified 297 mg
Tuna in oil 290 mg
Tuna 257 mg
Sardine 210 mg
Halibut 178 mg
Salmon 170 mg
Crab 152 mg
Lobster 102 mg
• Beer and grain liquors (like vodka and whiskey), cider
• Red meat, lamb, and pork. Bacon, turkey, veal, duck
• Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and glandular meats like the thymus or pancreas (you may hear them called sweetbreads)
• Seafood, especially shellfish like shrimp, lobster, mussels, anchovies, and sardines. Herring, codfish, scallops, trout and haddock
• High-fructose products like soda and some juices, cereal, ice cream, candy, and fast food
• Limit or avoid sugar-sweetened foods such as sweetened cereals, bakery goods and candies. Limit consumption of naturally sweet fruit juices.
Other factors can cause your uric levels to spike, leading to a gout attack:
• sudden illness
• extreme weather changes
For now, I’m cautiously playing it by ear and trying my best to avoid another flare up. This was my first and hopefully my last.