Got Gout? Now What?
What To Do When You Get Your First Gout Attack
Discover what gout is and it how your diet and lifestyle must change once you have been diagnosed with high uric acid and want to live a happy and healthy life. Life will never be the same.
So you went out with your friends last night at some restaurant to celebrate a birthday and you decided to have a steak lobster meal. You then proceeded to wash it down with a few beers and then while out at the club you figured having a few shots of whisky wouldn’t hurt. I mean you gotta have a good time!! Right? Well not so fast.
You go home around 3am and go to bed only to be awoken by an excruciating pain in your big toe. The pain is unbearable that you remove your bed sheets cause even the weight of bed sheets is insupportable on your foot. Welcome to my world! The world of gout.
Yes you’ve been hit by what is called a gout attack. A gout attack is when excess uric acid in your bloodstream form little crystals around your joint or joints for some, yes gout can affect multiple joints but mainly affects the big toe. You’re probably wondering why does if affect the big toe? Well uric acid crystallizes under cooler temperatures and your toes are the coolest part of your body.
So now you’re officially a gout sufferer and most likely will suffer from this disease for the rest of your life. What are you supposed to do?
First things first! Grab some ibuprofen for some immediate pain relief until your doctor allows you to go in for an appointment. This will get the edge off and you’ll feel less pain and be more mobile. But it’s a temporary solution. Next you can soak your foot in warm water with some epsom salt to relax the muscles and lessen the aches and pains. Two to three times a day, simply add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt in your bath and soak your entire body or affected joint, for at least 30 minutes.
Secondly, start drinking lots of water, this will help flush out excess uric acid in the body from urination. Yes going to pee often is good thing if you want to rid yourself of that terrible gout. Also did you know that staying well hydrated is a very effective way to limit gout flares. Make sure a water bottle is with you everywhere you go, I carry a bottle with me from morning to night and keep refilling it all day long.
Thirdly, you finally visit your doctor. This is the most plausible scenario. He will have you take a blood test to read your uric acid number, put you on a drug called colchicine. Colchicine does not lower uric acid levels but works to block the inflammation caused by uric acid crystals, to relieve you of the pain, working very fast usually within 12–24 hours, slowing the inflammation. WIthin 2 to 5 days you should feel no more pain. The inflammation should be gone.
Next up, he will most likely put you in a long term uric acid lowering therapy which consists taking the prescription drug allopurinol daily. What allopurinol does is basically block uric acid production in your body. Allopurinol is usually prescribed anywhere between 50 mg to 900 mg depending obviously on the severity and common allopurinol gout treatment dosage is usually 300mg a day. It is very important that you have regular uric acid tests while on this treatment and to ensure that the prescribed dosage is correct for you.
Finally, you’re going to want to change your diet and lifestyle for good. Yup! Say goodbye to the wild drunken parties and the long lines at the buffet table cause you’re most likely overweight which another reason you probably got gout in the first place. So you’re gonna have to start exercising in order to go back to your ideal weight and remain there. Plus you’re gonna have to start eating well and what that means less meat.
Your daily calories should consist of no more than 10% for protein foods. That includes meat, poultry and fish. The other 10% should consist of is fat as in eggs, milk, cheeses, yogurt, butter etc…80% of your daily calories should consist of vegetables, legumes, beans, whole grain breads, pastas and rice with little fruit. Yup! I know it’s not going to be easy but you must start somewhere and work towards this goal. You know why? Because the consequences of not changing your diet and lifestyle are very serious.
Since you already suffer from gout you are more likely than others to develop type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, kidney stones and no I’m not done yet…Tophi too! If you don’t know what tophi is, just google it and see what images come up. You’ll be scared, really scared!!
So the ball is in your court. What are you going to do? Are you going to continue in your old ways of eating like crap and drinking like a fish, partying it up to the wee hours of the morning? Or are you going to take responsibility for your actions and begin the new quest for a new you. One that doesn’t drink anymore, wakes up early and exercises. One that eats 2 slices of 100% whole grain toast in the morning with some butter, has a veggie burger sandwich for lunch and some quinoa with beans for supper. One that drinks mostly water all day, except for some coffee in the morning and a cup of green tea in the afternoon.
At the end it’s all up to you. It’s your life. Your actions. Discipline is key. That is undeniable. You gotta follow a gout diet. I’m passing the ball to you. What are you going to do?