Gout Recovery photo

Ouch! Why does Gout Recovery hurt?

This Gout Recovery article explains pain during uric acid lowering. In particular, I explain why you get gout pain in new places during gout recovery.

Gout Recovery Audience

I wrote Ouch! Why does Gout Recovery hurt? for all gout sufferers who want to lower their uric acid. To clarify, that’s all the types of gout sufferer I identify in Questions for Gout Sufferers, except Gout Victims. But, Gout Victims should also read this. Or else they’ll die.

Ouch! Why does Gout Recovery hurt?

I’m inspired to write this by James, a gentleman from my gout forums. Because he, like many recovering gout patients noticed

my left toe still feels a little painful (which wasn’t painful before gout)

So, for all gout sufferers who are lowering uric acid, here goes:

Where gout pain comes from

First, lose the notion that gout is a sporadic disease. Because it’s a killer condition with sporadic pain outbursts. Owing to excess uric acid that produces crystals.

Crystallization is temperature dependent. So, most crystals form in the joints. But, they form anywhere, except the brain. Therefore, every day that uric acid is above the crystallization point, a variable number of crystals will form. When that number is one, you never notice. Because, one of your white blood cells will trap the uric acid crystal. But, as the number of invaders rises, your immune system gets stretched further. Consequently, we often feel feverish during a gout attack. Eventually, the immune system has to call for reinforcements. That happens in a pain-inducing process where white blood cells grow and divide quickly. Unless you took preventative colchicine, which poisons that process.

Back to the selfless white blood cell that sacrificed itself by eating the uric acid crystal. In death, it formed a protective sheath around the crystal. That stops any colleagues trying to sacrifice themselves in the same way. So, the gout graveyard grows. Eventually, visible tophi form which burst through your skin, damage your kidneys, stop your heart, or block your cock.

Gout Recovery Pain

Now, the only saving grace for tophi is, they usually don’t hurt. Of course, I’m ignoring the organ-shredding for now. So, think about the millions of uric acid crystals spread all around your body that are engulfed by dead white blood cells. Then, realize that most of those never caused you any pain. But, when uric acid falls below the crystallization point, old uric acid crystals begin to dissolve. Subsequently, the protective sheath falls away, revealing partially dissolved invaders. Then, they trigger gout attacks, and often in new places.

So, it’s a downside to gout recovery. You have to risk some pain to make your uric acid safe. But, like fixing a dental cavity, intervention sometimes hurts. Personally, I soon learned to enjoy those strange gout attacks when I was recovering from gout. Because I was armed with an effective gout pain control package.

Gout Recovery photo
Avoid potholes as you enjoy Gout Recovery

Gout Recovery Warning

Before I conclude, let me warn you about Gout Hell.

Now, all gout sufferers can confront Gout Hell. But, it’s especially prevalent in gout recovery programs that are not managed well. To explain, there’s a range of uric acid levels around the crystallization point that are dangerous. So, avoid numbers around 6.5mg/dL[*]. Because, in that range, you get old crystals dissolving, and new ones forming. Now, strategies for avoiding Gout Hell depend on your personal gout recovery plan. Therefore, you must discuss this with your Gout Mentor. Especially, be aware that this applies during every type of uric acid lowering therapy. Lifestyle and herbal methods are just the same as pharmaceutical therapies.

Gout Recovery Time

Most gout sufferers who are following a gout recovery program have one main question: “How long does recovering from gout take?” Unfortunately, it is a question that cannot be answered accurately. So all we can say is: Lower Uric Acid for Faster Gout Recovery.

To explain, here are some examples of typical gout recovery times. But, you must realize that total time is impossible to estimate. Because all you can do is adapt your plan with higher doses of uric acid lowering treatments. Or, adopt a combination of more than one treatment.

6.5mg/dL or higher.
Most gout patients will never recover at this uric acid range.
6mg/dL to 6.5mg/dL
Most gout patients will recover very slowly.
4.5mg/dL to 6mg/dL
While this is a good maintenance range, it is not ideal for getting rid of old uric acid crystals. If you have lowered your uric acid to this range, you are well on your way to recovering from gout. But, you might consider 6 months or more with lower uric acid level to get rid of the burden of gout quicker. Because typical gout recovery times are around one month for every year you had gout.
Below 4.5mg/dL
By lowering uric acid as low as you can, you reduce the period that you are at risk from gout flares.

Your Gout Recovery

Finally, you understand why gout recovery might hurt. Also, you know why you might notice pain in new areas. But, you only have to deal with gout pain for a few months. So, that’s better than a life of gout and a painful death. Therefore, all you have to do is make sure:

  1. Your uric acid lowering schedule gets you past Gout Hell asap.
  2. You have a robust gout pain control package for the journey.

I’ll see you in Gout Freedom. If you struggle to find it, shout out in the gout forums.


Gout Recovery Footnotes

[*]Gout Hell Numbers

“around 6.5mg/dL” is deliberately vague. Because uric acid levels vary naturally. So, it’s best to think of a range for Gout Hell. But, it will vary for each person, as well as through time. For example, one gout sufferer might experience hell between 6.5 to 7. Whereas another might be 6.2 to 6.8 (370 to 400μmol/L). So, the important uric acid target during gout recovery is below 5mg/dL (300μmol/L).



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Keith Taylor at GoutPal

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