It was Thanksgiving of 2014 and our family had just concluded another successful gathering full of feasting and festivities. I recall feeling a bit stressed about all the food I had just consumed; food I knew I could, and likely would, pay for later. When you have Gout that dreaded scenario is likely always weighing on you in the back of your mind. WHAT did I just do to myself?
Is there any chance I could dodge a bullet this time?
What can I possibly do to get ahead of this game?
Maybe if just consume a ton of water, and water only, can I avoid the inevitable?
Was that turkey and gravy, and pie, and, and, and….all worth it?
As Gout sufferers we are all fully aware of the risks involved and sometimes we choose to face those risks head on, despite the potential outcome. I remember wondering then if there were measures to take ahead of time to avoid the worry of a splurge here and there. I was young and dumb, and rather clueless about the sheer number of things I did and consumed on a daily basis that kept adding to my demise. Understanding the necessity of balance was never my strong suit.
…..Fast forward to the middle of the night, post thankful feasting, and I am awakened by a pain in my ankle that I knew all too well; the kind of pain worthy of wishing to lose a limb rather than continue the suffering. Said ankle was red hot, swollen and throbbing in pain. Agony was an understatement and black Friday took on a whole new meaning. There would be no shopping, no leftover turkey stuffing sandwiches, nothing resembling anything remotely close to my ability to leave that bed.
I.WAS.MISERABLE. WHY had I done this to myself, again?? I knew better. I began swallowing Colchicine like candy. Que the digestive disaster in the making. Now, I’m sick as a dog AND in pure agony. Ice, heat, water, Ibuprofen, repeat.
That attack was one of the absolute worst to date. It continued to move around to different areas of my body and was categorically relentless. I vowed from that day forward that I was going to avoid ever suffering like that again. A wise man told me that I needed to start looking at this Gout puzzle with more clarity and understanding. He told me that we tend to be very narrow-minded in our approach and limited in thinking that one meal could cause an attack when food purines are such a miniscule piece of this puzzle. What was I doing each and every day to contribute to my “glass of uric acid” until that one meal causes it to spill over into an attack? What could I do to lower that full glass to a point where a splurge wouldn’t push me over that edge?
Some important things I’ve learned:
You may have ‘trigger foods’ that spark an attack. A purine-rich meal may push your ‘already full’ glass over the edge and into an attack. However, be sure to understand things were already brewing and these triggers simply tipped the scale.
SOLUBLE uric acid can be measured in your blood supply. However, the uric acid that has crystallized and is now residing in connective tissue cannot be measured with a blood analysis. These crystals are always there, in a solid form, “melting” when the levels in the blood will allow and adding to the buildup when levels in the blood become too high for the blood to carry. These deposits are what migrate into the joint causing the acute gout attack. When the tissue is full, any food indulgences and lifestyle choices that cause you to produce more uric acid than the blood can hold, will allow for deposits that crystallize between the bone joints. This can make you falsely blame one food for triggering your attack when in all actuality it simply “tipped the already full cup over.”
Cellular regeneration is the only way to achieve Gout control success. Food, water, spices, vitamins, herbs, and therapeutic actions (meditation, exercise, listening to music) can significantly elevate the body’s regenerative process. Together they, and you, can take control of your health and begin repair. While some parts will remain permanently damaged, there are many areas where an overhaul can bring you the quality of life you have been missing.
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Important tips regarding Gout and other Inflammatory Conditions