I had the classic symptom of gout: swelling and pain in my feet, primarily the big toes and ankle. When it attacked, I could barely walk, let alone play tennis. I had to prop my feet in bed to get any sleep at all. About 20 years ago, it became so bad I went to a podiatrist. He proscribed Allopurinol, which helped to relieve the symptoms.
What causes gout is that uric acid accumulates in the blood, and then crystal-like deposits form in the joints, including the ankles, hands, wrists, and knees. Men have higher amounts of uric acid than women, but there are dozens of things that can create it, including certain illnesses and even medicines, such as heavy aspirin or niacin use. The causes you can most easily control have mostly to do with diet.
Obesity is in itself a major cause. Others include heavy alcohol consumption, high purine foods such as seafood and meat, extremely low calorie diets, and drinks high in fructose … sugar. That especially includes sodas, whether diet or not.
I took Allopurinol regularly for 12 years. It reduced the frequency of attacks, but not always the intensity. That’s when I read up on it. After eliminating all the causes I did not have (obesity, illnesses, drugs, soda, etc.), I began testing each item on the list for three-month periods. I started by eliminating wine, which I drank too much. That didn’t help. I went through red meat, seafood, and sugar in my coffee and tea. Finally, I quit drinking sweetened fruit juices. I have not had a serious attack since then. Now I don’t even drink orange juice, which I miss. And I don’t use Allopurinol.
With the help of your doctor, I advise you go on a program to find out what your major cause of gout may be. Medicines can help, but you really want to eliminate the source. If you are obese, there are many benefits to losing weight other than controlling gout. I don’t think you can cure gout, but you can certainly manage it to the point where you live a normal life.
One final note: My knees went south about the age of 50. I thought it was wear and tear. I had them scoped, and found out I was becoming crippled due to gout. The doc cleared it out, and my knees have been fantastic ever since.