This page of gout testimonials from visitors - My Gout Story - was last reviewed, or updated, on 16 May 2013.
Below are gout stories from our visitors. They appear to be enjoying gout control or are getting it under control. Some have long time personal gout experience, and all have made significant dietary changes. Adding a form of cherries to their diet was one of the simplest.
Joseph Legueri, Gilbert, Minnesota, United States
I enjoy reading your articles about gout. Here's my gout story. I've had gout since the 1970's. Three years ago it got so bad that I decided that I had to do something about it. So I did a lot of research.
The information I gleaned gave me what I needed to try to get rid of my constant gout.
I lost 21 pounds (196 to 175).At the same time, I stopped eating white bread. I only eat American Rye Bread now. At the same time, I stopped eating red meat almost completely. We'll have a burger or a steak once, let's say, every three months.I started drinking purified water.
I have no idea why the four-part regimen works for me. And who knows, maybe it does just work for me. But it's so noninvasive that other people could try it without harming themselves.
I started febuxostat in late August 2011. I began with 40 mg but in October my doctor raised it to 80 mg which he said was the most effective dose especially since I had reached a uric acid level of 14 mg/dL. By November 2011, my uric acid level was 5.9 mg/dL. The downside is I had to keep a daily dose of 1 colchicine tablet as a prophylactic and I still got my gout flare ups.
Today, my flare-ups have lessened in frequency and intensity but I am not gout attack-free. However, the good days are good and I don't have those tender or painful joints that I used to have in-between attacks. I did notice that what I perceive as flare-ups may actually be tophi removal because they occur on old spots that I had. I've also noticed that there was noticeable reduction of the small lumps created from previous gout attacks.
I will continue this febuxostat treatment at 80 mg for a year and then see. About colchicine: I don't follow the literature that says take 1 per hour until diarrhoea (diarrhea). I shifted to the low-dose which is 2 tabs in the 1st hour and a 2nd one either on the 2nd or 3rd hour. Then no more colchicine, just suffer and wait. Gout clears up within the same time frame and no diarrhoea or dizziness etc., from excessive colchicine in the system.
I also had to go on a kidney-friendly diet to help things out. I only eat low-purine food, mostly chicken or fish. I don't eat processed food of any kind and have lots of fruits and certain vegetables. I have smaller portions of rice and bagels or an apple for a snack. This also resulted in a 70 lbs loss (280 down to 210), which makes it easier for me to move around.
1) I was able to reduce and maintain my uric acid to below 6 mg/dL and fast.
2) The flares occurred as expected and not even colchicine could stop them. However, after a few months, the flares seemed to be doing more good than bad. The febuxostat distributor says tophi, deposited or released, causes inflammation and I suppose they are right.
3) Febuxostat is safe for kidneys, in most cases.
I still get flares but they don't last and they don't hurt as much. They do occur in spots where I've had attacks before but the difference now is that there is tophi removal because I've noticed that the humps from deposits are smaller and some have even disappeared. I really think febuxostat is a God-send.
Comment about RL's gout story RL is getting control of his gout thanks to febuxostat and what seems to be a restricted carbohydrate and low purine diet, which is also, as he says, a kidney friendly diet – he eats lots of fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish, all low carbohydrate, and only a small amount of high carb rice and bagels. Notice he is NOT eating any processed foods. Good idea.
At his uric acid level of 5.9 mg/dL, the MSU crystals are dissolving since he has noticed the disappearance or reduction of small lumps (tophi or emerging tophi). RL probably needs to lower uric acid more, and lose more weight.
The reduction of uric acid from 14 to 5.9 mg/dL in about 3 months is tremendous and shows what can be done.
Colchicine – RL is right about the colchicine dose – one per hour until diarrhoea (diarrhea) could be a dangerous dose. Read more about colchicine here.
The kidney friendly diet is an excellent idea. It may help his kidneys function better and so remove more uric acid.
JH, Calgary, Canada
Comment Cherry extract capsules to the rescue, for someone who has genetic gout. And note the rise in BP caused by baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), which happens to some people who take baking soda for gout.
First at all, let me tell you a bit about my gout story. I am healthy 42 years dad of 2 who is active all the time; I practice martial arts, working out (no supplement in any form used whatsoever) and love hiking.
One morning in early May 2011, I was waking up with excruciating pain in my left toe’s joint. I first thought it might be a result of injury from the 8 hours hike 2 days ago. I left it untreated and took a couple of 400 mg Ibuprofens - then went to work. The day went on and the pain was getting worse and the joint was getting inflamed and swollen to the point where I needed to take my shoe off. I went home and thought I must have broken something. I went to see my family doctor next day and was told I had indeed suffered a gout attack.
I was so shocked due to the fact that I am a "red meat hater." I have not smoked or drunk any alcohol in my entire life. I exercise everyday and only have less than 10% body fat. How could I get gout? Then my doctor explained to me that because my dad and grandfather both had gout, genetically I have a 70% chance of getting gout in my lifetime. I am so discouraged and frustrated. I was already a "Health Freak" before all this, what am I supposed to do now? I hate to lose my mobility and it has made me feel weak, and look like a cripple.
Then I summarized what lead to the gout attack.
JH’s gout triggers First I have to admit that I love sardines and herring. I ate 4 cans of oiled sardines and herring 3 days on a roll; also had spinach, asparagus, dried peas and beans for salad dinner the night before. Plus the 8 hours hike 2 days ago with drinking very little water. This followed by a 13 hours-long working day before the attack. Genetic or not, I had done everything humanly possible to contribute to my GOUT attack. I have no one to blame but myself.
Treatment Then I started treating my gout by taking ibuprofen, colchicine, apo-allopurinol and all of them gave me mild to severe side effects - and I hate become medication reliant. Then I started to try home remedies like baking soda, which almost killed me and I ended up in the ER (hospital emergency room) because my BP went up to 200/123 in 2 days of drinking baking soda. Rest of diet - potatoes extracted juice, lemon juice, carrot and corn juice, eating lot of eggplant, drinking lot of skim milk and avoiding any seafood, meat, egg yolk, anything with yeast and flour, no beans, peas or nuts, no citrus food, no soft drink, no coffee or tea etc.
Guess what? After my initial attack seemed to subside after 10 days, and after all these efforts, my joint flared up and the pain started again! I am extremely disappointed and more frustrated than ever, what am I going to do, only eat AIR and DUST?
Success Finally, I came across a web site that suggested consuming dark skinned cherries, cherries juice, cherry fruit extract or tart cherry filling to tackle gout. At first, I am skeptical about it due to all the failed promises! WOW, let me tell you my fellow gout sufferers, I went out and bought 1 bottle of 500mg (90 capsules) cherry fruit extract capsules and started taking 2 capsules 3 times a day. And guess what? My swollen (joint) and pain subsided after just 4 dosages. And I drank a cup (8 ozs.) of water every hour.
I am going to continue doing this, and would report the result to you, so far the cherry remedy is the most effective relief and hope so far, and without worrying about any long term side effect. Cheers!
MH, Toronto, Canada.
Here's my gout story....I have "experienced" gout attacks for some 40 years now and have come to believe it can be almost completely controlled by diet. In particular by maintenance of a basic pH balance, the avoidance of certain foods (alcohol, cheese, flour etc.) and proper balance of mineral intake.
I would like to suggest readers may be interested in more examination of the possible dietary causes of gout as an alternative to the pharmaceutical time bombs that industry appears to create. I believe the incidence of gout would dramatically decline after the adoption of certain dietary measures, whatever their purine content. For example a near Paleo diet, while higher in purines, would also be far more basic and, if supplemented with cherries or sour cherry juice and other uricosuric (urosuric) foods, may well do the trick of eliminating attacks altogether.
It has worked for me (and I did have a lot of them) even to the extent of eliminating a nasty little tophi on one toe. I would hazard a guess that most readers, if maintaining a low glycemic diet by eliminating pastries and most bread, alcohol, most cheeses and dairy products while topping up on greens, fruits and vegetables would see their attacks greatly diminish or disappear.
N.B. Uricosuric (urosuric) foods are foods (and beverages), which it is thought, stimulate uric acid excretion irrespective of diet. e.g. cherries, celery, milk, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, cherry juice, strawberries, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) in water and others. Any food high in well absorbed Vitamin C should be good, since Vitamin C encourages uric acid excretion.
A visitor from Massachusetts, United States.
Here's my gout story. I am a 55 year old. I have enjoyed your columns and followed the gout trail for years now and I am astonished about the information that has proliferated about this nasty ailment in such a short period of time.
I started having this problem on my big toe at about the age of 40. But I have to say that I have not had an acute attack or any gout problem for the last 2 years. It was agonizing to the point, as you mention in previous articles, that even the weight of my bed sheet was painful. I started out taking indomethacin, but I soon found out that this medicine was just masking the problem and it had a bad side effect for me. I would not recommend this medicine to my worst enemy.
I soon found a female doctor who extracted fluid from my knee and toe that confirmed the disease under a microscope. She then put me on colchicine and within 2 days the gout was virtually gone. It was prescribed to me in low dosage at 12 hour intervals.
The next thing that I did was to cut out some of the foods that were aggravating my gout. First was ice cream. Way too much artificial ingredients. Also I cut or almost eliminated alcohol and as far as my Christmas foods to go were shrimp and other shelled fish. Also, any cakes with sugary frostings.
To sum up, it was the sugar that was causing my uric acid to be out of wack. I have joined a local running club and drink mostly clear liquids or cherry juice products with no added sugar.
I would add that anything with refined ingredients (ice cream, breads), sulfates in wine and certain purines (eg. shellfish, shrimp and others)... any combination of these, in excess, triggers my gout. I know that there could be some other triggers out there, but those three seem to be my worst.
I have many other details that I could include but I will save it for another time. Thank you for listening to my story.
Comment In these gout stories the writers have drawn from three dietary approaches to control gout, and two currently seem to have their gout under control. In the two that enjoy gout control, it's interesting that insulin resistance appears to be their gout cause, or a contributor to it, not excessive purine intake, or genetic causes, or the minor causes.
The dietary approaches are:
(1) Low purine – for example, the shrimp, shellfish, and alcohol referred to by the visitor from Massachusetts, USA.
(2) pH, that is, making the body more alkaline, as mentioned by MH, Toronto.
(3) An anti-insulin resistance diet which restricts carbohydrates in order to lower insulin levels. Excess insulin inhibits uric acid excretion and blood uric acid rises.
The Paleo diet, (aka the Paleolithic diet) referred to by MH, is such a diet, along with the Zone diet, the Atkins diet, the Holford diet (a glycaemic diet), and others. These diets are not the same, but they all share some degree of carbohydrate restriction as one central feature..... as touched on by the visitor from Massachusetts when he talks about sugar, and by MH from Canada when he mentions a low glycaemic diet
THE NEXT CONTRIBUTION GOES HERE
Your gout story Do you have a "my gout story" to tell? Your living with gout, dealing with gout and getting rid of gout experiences are of great interest to others. Let’s say getting rid of gout is no attack for a number of years after more than one attack and a doctor-confirmed diagnosis of gout. On this page what you relate will eventually be read by thousands of gouty folk.
Please use the Contact Form below. Confidentiality assured, and assistance with writing, if you wish.