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Posts Tagged ‘Gout’

Gout

A while back I wrote about how I had a gout attack. It was focused on my left big toe and I can tell you it was the most horrible pain I have ever felt. It lasted for about three weeks. Ultimately, it started to subside but I will tell you that those weeks were pure hell, not just for me but for my family. Basically, you get gout when you have too much uric acid in your blood. This happens when you drink a lot of alcohol (I don’t unless my mother in law is coming to visit), eat rich foods (guilty – I love my fish) and don’t drink enough water (guilty – do I really want to be peeing all day long?).

Now, a new study has come out that says that drinking orange juice, soda or other sugary beverages can also increase gout in middle age women. For women in the study who drank two or more servings of these drinks a day, the risk of gout was more than double that for women who drank sugary sodas and less than once per month.

So, my first reaction is: I can’t drink Orange Juice?  What the heck?  I was raised on Orange Juice. In my day

Orange Juice

it was practically mandatory to have a big glass for breakfast (along with my real eggs and real bacon).  This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The thing that I found interesting was that, while gout is not common in the United States, the rate of incidences has more than doubled over a 20-year period, from 16 cases per 100,000 Americans in 1977 to 42 per 100,000 in 1996. Coincidentally, over this period we Americans have consumed increasing amounts of soda and other drinks sweetened with fructose.

After my gout went away, I went to my doctor and he put me on alluprinol. The interesting thing is that one

Drinking Water

of the warnings on the label is that alluprinol “may cause gout.” Nice, huh? But I did some research and found that getting gout in some weird way flushes out that high uric acid. I’ve been on the pill for three weeks and, KNOCK ON WOOD, no problems so far. Of course, I’ve been drinking a LOT of water and spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I also have been exercising more.

We’ll see how it goes, but I hate getting old, I just hate it.

What’s next?

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Gout

Abortion not associated with Gout

My doctor just told me that I have gout – and I am disgusted with myself.

Let me first say that I have never experienced more pain in my entire life.  The pain is focused on my left toe and there is no escaping it.  All I keep thinking about is how Ben Franklin, who had gout for years, could have accomplished all that he did because, aside from writing this post, I cannot focus on anything other than the pain.  Fortunately, at night I overdose on Nyquil so I’m sleeping okay.  But the fact that the gout will probably go away in a week or so is no consolation.

There are many causes of gout.  If you eat a lot of rich foods, like shellfish, if you don’t drink enough water, if you don’t exercise, etc.   You can also get gout if you drink “heavily.”   Let’s talk about that one for a second.

My mother was an alcoholic, a mean, nasty one.  I didn’t drink until I got to college, then I went nuts.    To this day, I do not know how I am alive because there were many times when I drove home from a bar totally inebriated.  I don’t remember the rides home.  I’m also lucky I never killed anyone.

Over the years, I continued to drink.  I became what my father used to call his father – a “weekend drunk.”   I would play or work all Friday and Saturday but then around 5 o’clock I’d open up the bottle of Vodka or Rum and start making some sweet drinks.   Every Saturday and Sunday morning was a nightmare, as my head was one giant hangover.

I am now 60 years old and about two years ago – after a gout attack – I vowed to get off the hard stuff.  Since then, I haven’t had any more serious alcohol, the only exception being when I visit my good friend Scott in Del Ray Beach and we share a bottle of Southern Comfort as we sit on the shore, talking about life.  These days, I “only” drink Amaretto, which is not as alcoholic as the hard stuff.   On Friday night at about the same time, I pour a small glass and quietly watch TV.   I have about three glasses, which gives me a nice buzz.  I wake up the next day with no hangover, I’m ready to go.  Then, that Saturday night I do the same.  I just sit there quietly and don’t disturb anybody.  My two older boys know I drink and at times they have found the hidden bottles and they just throw them out.  I don’t say a word to them, but I certainly appreciate their sentiment.

I don’t believe I am an alcoholic.  I don’t crave alcohol in the mornings and it doesn’t affect my work.  It’s just that once I get through the week, I’m ready for my weekend buzz.  Maybe I’m in denial.  Perhaps if I went to a counselor, he would determine I am technically an alcoholic.  I continue to insist that I am not, that I am stronger than those folks who desperately crave a drink.    I really don’t know and I don’t care to find out if I am an alcoholic.

But this gout has really got me to thinking.  I am totally paralyzed and cannot imagine going through this again.

For the sake of my kids, my spouse and myself, I gotta stop.

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