Gout pain is severe. I can attest that even the touch of a bed sheet can be excruciating and my inflammation usually lasted four or five days. Walking can be unbearable for some. Gout was not something that I was willing to live with. I wanted a permanent solution to be free of gout.
I typically work in an office setting but occasionally I swap my dress shoes for steel-toed boots, go into the field, and visit an industrial site. My first gout episode occurred one day following a business field trip. I thought I had strained my big toe. I rested my foot, applied ice and used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines as directed. I had other flare-ups over the next several months. After self-treatment failed repeatedly, I visited my primary care physician. Gout was suspect after I shared my symptoms and stories. Elevated uric acid levels in the blood confirmed the diagnosis.
I followed through with my doctor’s recommended diet changes and took prescribed medications to assist with the high uric acid but still had occasional bouts-of-gout.
I learned that gout occurs in men more often than it does women and frequently occurs with obesity and elevated lipid levels and I had both conditions. I also had a previously damaged joint and that, too, is a risk factor. I wanted a permanent solution; I made the decision to have bariatric weight loss surgery. However, here are tips that I found helpful for managing gout and reducing associated pain.
Identify the foods that trigger your gout. I often travel to the gulf coast for business, enjoy the delicious seafood available in the area, and usually have a beer with evening meals. I also enjoy tuna and salmon sushi. I found that all of these foods triggered my gout. Removing these foods or only having them in moderation was a big help in preventing gout inflammation.
Self-Care at Home
Elevate and rest your swollen joint. The use of an ice pack was helpful in relieving pain and reducing inflammation; do not use heat therapy. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Aleve were helpful managing my pain.
Reducing your weight may be the single biggest thing you can do to prevent gout. Since my bariatric surgery and subsequent weight loss, I have not experienced gout symptoms. I have also been able to stop taking medication for managing uric acid levels.