Monday, August 31, 2015

Gouty Arthritis A Problem?

What a peaceful, wonderful picture!

But, unfortunately life is not always peaceful, and for some, STRESS brings on the painful reality of GOUT! Ouch.

Gout is caused by the deposit of uric acid crystals in the joints, most frequently of the feet, but they can occur in other places too..knees for example.

Gout is one of the most painful processes you will ever experience.  For some people, there are a lot of food "triggers," like pork, bacon, shellfish, and other rich foods, and one of the most frequent offenders BEER!    In the 1800's it used to be considered a rich mans disease.  Not true anymore! Of course, part of the reason for that is the easy accessibility of rich foods and plenty of them.

Now that the explanation is out of the way, what are the answers if you develop this painful condition?  Well, some say a natural remedy is Cherry Juice.  The problem with that is finding the purest of cherry juice in the highest concentration.  Cherry Juice may help prevent Gout, but I haven't found it to be of much help once the process is actually in place.

Now, let's get to medications.  There is virtually no over the counter medication that will relieve the pain of an acute gout matter how much you take.  So it's a trip to the doctor guys!
For many years people have been put on Colchicine, and other "maintenance" meds to keep gout from reoccurring.  I have found, however, that these have a lot of unpleasant side effects.  Indocin or Indomethacin does seem to give relief of the pain in some individuals, but again can have the most unpleasant and dangerous side effects.  For me it caused extreme nausea and digestive upset.  It can also cause stroke, heart attack and bleeding issues! Lordy, if you read the warning label your heart rate will definitely increase!

I have only had about 4 gout attacks over the last ten years.  The best medication in the last two attacks was a Medrol Dose Pack (methylprednisolone).  It is a six day course of methylprednisolone which starts with a larger dose and tapers off to nothing.  It is mandatory that you take it exactly as directed!  But, the up side is this - within 24 hours or less the gout attack will begin to back off.  By the time you finish the dose it will be gone! NOTHING else works this well.  Check the reviews by other gout patients and you will find this to be true in 99% of the cases.  Believe me, the pain of gout is excruciating and downright crippling, so the fact that you can back it off in this amount of time is amazing.

I am not a physician, I am a retired RN.  I am extremely careful with my diet and find that I don't seem to have any particular food triggers, the one exception is BEER...since I don't like it anyway, this is no great loss.  You will have to figure out what your particular triggers are and sometimes it means giving up a favorite food such as bacon.  You don't want to have to take ANY medication too frequently, so a change in habits or food choices is your best advice in avoiding the pain of gout.

But, if you are a gout sufferer, talk it over with your doctor and see if this will work for you.  It has for me!


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