Gout Blog

Simple Gout Treatment

I know gout can be complicated, but let’s try the simple approach to gout treatment before we look for difficulties.

Gout treatment is the heart of finding gout freedom.

Gout treatment must be preceded by a proper medical diagnosis of your gout symptoms.

Gout treatment might  be followed by adjustment to your gout diet.

So for all of you making life difficult for yourselves by worrying about food and drink – stop now. Do not even think about diet until you have a good gout management plan.

1. Starting A Gout Treatment Plan

The best gout treatment plan starts with good diagnosis from your doctor(s). If you have a confirmed gout diagnosis then move to step 2.

Gout diagnosis can be difficult for a small minority of gout patients. For most people, it is very simple.

If your gout symptoms are not confirmed, see your doctor or rheumatologist today. If they are confirmed, a more complete analysis of possible causes is useful, but not essential. If you have it, it may give you more options for gout treatment.

I will announce a personal gout symptoms assessment tool soon. In the meantime read the Gout Symptoms section, which is first in the list of sections near the top and bottom of every page. If you still have questions, ask in the Gout Symptoms forum.

Continue to read your simple 3 step gout treatment plan

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GoutPal Website – Get Paid For Suggestions

I use the GoutPal website to let you know the best things that you can do for gout. These are general principles that affect the average gout sufferer.

But, you’re not average! Every gout sufferer has their own unique set of circumstances. Whether it’s the severity of your gout, your own treatment preferences, other complicating illnesses, or something else. You are unique.

That is why I provide the gout forums service. You can use it to ask how general gout principles apply to your situation. You can create your own Personal Gout Profile. That profile helps you monitor your progress, and it helps other gout sufferers respond to you in ways that are relevant to you.

There are other ways that makes you unique. How do you like to communicate about your gout? How do you like to learn about your gout? How do you like to ask questions?

Continue reading What’s best for Your Gout?

Triggers For Gout

If you wonder how many triggers for gout there are, the truest answer is only one. Only one thing triggers gout, but many events can cock the gout gun.

A typical gout attack is intense inflammation caused by white blood cells attacking uric acid crystals. It’s part of your immune system, which is very complicated. Some days aren’t as bad as others. You might have a reaction one time, but not another. It can seem random at times, and you have to be very careful how you react.

So, the only real gout trigger is your immune system ‘seeing’ uric acid crystals. But what causes uric acid crystals to be exposed to your immune system? There are several events that can lead to a gout attack. Let’s expand the definition of gout triggers to cover these events. Then we need to know about different types of triggers for gout.

The most important fact about gout triggers is that they can be good or bad. Gout attacks can be triggered when uric acid is falling, or when it is too high.

Continue reading Triggers For Gout

Can Natural Uric Acid Inhibitors Work?

Natural uric acid inhibitors are very popular with gout sufferers.

Many want to avoid pharmaceutical methods for uric acid lowering. So, they look to the world of herbal gout medicine for solutions. In a recent discussion about chanca piedra for gout, I voiced my concerns about the validity of herbal gout medicine. I guess it’s one of those topics where my heart says “got to be good for gout,” yet my head says “this is dangerous gout exploitation.”

Continue reading Can Natural Uric Acid Inhibitors Work?

Uric Acid Back Pain: The Heavy Load Of Gout

Uric Acid Back Pain ImageA new report on uric acid and back pain reminds me of the critical consequences of failure to manage gout properly.

Are you the type of person who wants to avoid daily uric acid treatment because you can stand the agony of a swollen big toe?

You might think again when your back is crippled and you can no longer stand upright.

I’m not one for scaremongering, but I do get frustrated by people who suffer years of gouty agony because they refuse to control uric acid. OK, so painkillers can mask the pain, but they cannot stop the inevitable invasive growth of uric acid deposits.

The big toe is the most common joint to get affected, but if left untreated, high uric acid levels will lead to urate deposits in every joint. This is more than a painful nuisance – these uric acid deposits known as tophi eat into bone, cartilage, and tendons causing permanent joint damage.

Most of us are lucky enough to live in a society where joint reconstruction surgery is a possibility, but why put yourself at that risk?

And I did mention every joint. Foot gout is a common problem because there are lots of joints in the foot. There are also lots of joints in the spine, and gout in the back, though fairly uncommon, is serious enough for you to be very afraid.

In gout management, there is too much emphasis on short term pain relief, and insufficient awareness of the consequences of allowing gout to reach the tophaceous stage. A single tophus (the name given to uric acid crystals when they form a lump in the body) often means severe joint movement restriction. This is quite common on the hands, where groups of tophi (the plural of tophus) tend to restrict finger movement. When this happens in the spine, back movement restriction becomes critical, and total incapacity from spine distortion is a real risk.

Samuels and colleagues reported a particularly bad case of spinal gout in the June issue of Bulletin of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases[1]. The image above shows how tophi in and around the spine have severely distorted the patient’s back. The report reveals that this impaired the ability to stand long enough to take a shower.

Fortunately, the patient responded well to allopurinol, even though he required a dose of:

750 mg daily to achieve a target serum uric acid level less than 6.0 mg/dL.

As I mentioned, uric acid back pain in the form of tophaceous spinal gout is uncommon, but the Samuels report does manage to cite 7 other cases, and there will be many more that go unreported.

Uric Acid Back Pain: Other Causes

As well as tophi, uric acid can cause back pain in other ways.

I have experienced it from bad posture caused by limping. Whenever I had gout in my feet or knees, I often walked awkwardly to try and limit the pain. This is a common cause of back pain. It isn’t exactly gout in the back, but the cause is the same. Excess uric acid should be treated long before gout affects your back.

Another common cause of back pain is kidney stones. This is especially common with lower back pain. Again, early treatment is essential. Uric acid kidney stones can cause permanent damage and chronic kidney disease.

Uric Acid Back Pain: Next Steps

If you think your back pain might be uric acid related, what should you do next?

It really is not worth letting gout go untreated this long. Are you showing any symptoms of tophaceous gout, or indeed gout symptoms of any kind, such as swollen joints? If so, you need to get your uric acid level checked by your doctor, and controlled today.

If you are not sure what to say to your doctor, ask in the gout forum. You can also use the forum if you do not understand what your doctor tells you about uric acid back pain. If you have not used the gout forum before, please see how to log in to GoutPal, or click the orange Gout Support button.


Uric Acid Back Pain References

  1. Authors: Jonathan Samuels, M.D., Robert T. Keenan, M.D., M.P.H., Rena Yu, M.D., Michael H. Pillinger, M.D., and Tibor Bescke, M.D. Title: Erosive Spinal Tophus in a Patient with Gout and Back Pain. Published: June 2010.

Are You a Gouty Ostrich?

I hate saying there is a typical gout sufferer.

Every gout sufferer is different. Different symptoms. Different history. Different treatment needs. That is why I’m devoting 2015 to make my gout support services personal.

But within the group of individuals, there are always a few distinct types. The most common is probably like me – indulgent, inactive, overweight, and middle-aged. Before you get to my gout type, you are a pre-middle-aged Gouty Doubter, who thinks that eating the occasional fruit or vegetable in their week of 30 meat dishes will remove any chance of gout.

That unwillingness to accept gout as a warning to take serious action seems strongest in the sporty 30-40 year-olds. Every twinge is put down to over-exercise. Every swelling is a sports injury. “The doctor says my uric acid isn’t really high, so I can’t believe I have gout.” This is your Gouty Ostrich!

Find out now – Are You a Gouty Ostrich?

Automatic 30 Day Gout Control

I had gout for 8 or 9 years before I started GoutPal.

In GoutPal’s 10th anniversary year, I’ve come to realize the single most important thing you can do if you are confused about gout control.

Over the years I have investigated every way there is to control gout. I’ve tried several of these. Many were not successful, but I did eventually find a way that always works, for everyone.

Now, you might think that this is against my ethos of ensuring gout treatment is patient-centered. It is true that every gout patient must have their own personal gout treatment plan. A good doctor will provide this. The best doctors go further and provide dedicated support staff to guide your gout recovery on a personal one-to-one basis.

I’m always interested to hear from gout patients with good doctors. By sharing their experiences, they can help other gout sufferers. But, people who visit GoutPal are mostly confused, and feel let down by their doctors. They feel lost and lonely. I’ve been in that place where I did not know what to do next with my gout. I know people in worse places, who are so confused by bad medical advice that they cannot even consider a personal gout treatment plan.

So what is GoutPal’s magic formula for an automatic gout control process that works for everyone?

Read about GoutPal’s Automatic 30 Day Gout Control

Driving Blind with Gout?

My gout forums are an inspiration to me, and today I’m inspired to ask: Are you driving blind with gout?

This started when we discussed fear of allopurinol, and a need to avoid bad gout foods. Discussions about gout are always personal. That’s why they are so important. Fear of allopurinol is a personal issue. You can choose to try and overcome that fear, or you can choose to seek an alternative. But, if you choose to ignore it, you are driving blind with gout.

If you acknowledge that fear as a dislike of all medicines, you have to consider better gout diet. But, gout diet is just a form of gout treatment, so all the factors that make gout treatment work also apply to food, drink, and exercise. It’s pointless opening your eyes long enough to consider gout diet, then closing them when you need to plan your lifestyle changes. If you do not plan your diet properly, you are still driving blind with gout.

Continue reading Driving Blind with Gout?