When I had my first gout attack, I was in my mid-20s. The pain in my big toe of my left foot was searing, intense, and unremitting. Even the merest touch, such as a bed sheet making contact with my throbbing toe, was unbearable. Walking was almost out of the question. I quickly scheduled an appointment with my physician who easily diagnosed my condition as gout.
Blood work showed that my uric acid levels were high, the hallmark lab indicator of the condition. Gout is caused by inflammation of the big toe which, in turn, is caused by the inability of the body to metabolize excessive uric acid in the blood–especially where it circulates in the joint of the big toe. Urease is the enzyme responsible for breaking down the culprit–excessive uric acid.
My doctor prescribed two medications–one which helped break down the accumulation of uric acid crystals in my body so they could be excreted and the other which helped increase the production of more urease. The first medication was called colchicine and the second was called allopurinol. Both medications worked quickly and effectively. I was back to my normal routine within 24 hours. More importantly, the pain had completely subsided. As far as medication went, I continued the treatment for a couple of weeks and found that I did not have another gout “flare-up” until several months later. Again, I visited my physician and received the same medications. I also noticed the same beneficial results.
I soon discovered that modifying my diet lessened both the frequency of my gout flare-ups as well as the intense pain that accompanied them. From my own experimentation, I discovered that eliminating most red meat from my diet–especially steak–reduced the frequency of the chronic condition. I also figured out that, in my case, processed sugars could trigger a flare-up as well as alcohol, especially beer. By changing my dietary regimen and losing a little weight, my gout flare-ups have been virtually eliminated.
My father and grandfather have also been diagnosed with the condition and there is scientific evidence that shows a high genetic predisposition to the ailment. Gout is completely manageable but it is important to receive prompt treatment and eat properly before the condition becomes more severe and less manageable, before it worsens and is diagnosed as “gouty arthritis,” a nastier, condition that actually can destroy part of the toe joint.
Gout is completely manageable under a physician’s care, and with the right diet and medication, it will soon subside. I am now in my mid-40s and can say that I have not felt the pain of that bed sheet for several years. My visits to the doctor for my gout are no longer.