Keith’s GoutPal Story 2020 Forums Please Help My Gout! Gout Symptoms Is this gout? Been going for 4 months from problem to problem…

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    This topic about gout for 4 months is now closed. Please see How Long Does a Gout Attack Last? which explains why gout attacks can last for 4 months or longer. If you still have questions, please start a new topic.

    Hello guys,

    I've done this very in depth, i warn you now!

    Early January 09

    The first symptom appeared in my right elbow when i couldn't straighten it as it felt like it was locked and if i went any further something would crack in my elbow. I just thought it was something like tennis/golfers elbow, but it didn't seam to go.

    The second symptom shortly after was when i started typing my knuckles started to swell up and my forearms started to hurt. The swelling and pain seemed to clear up over night when I stopped typing, but my elbow continued to hurt and couldn't straighten it. Over the weekends i didn't touch a computer and my hands would feel better. When I went back to work all the problems in my hands would come back within a day or two.

    This wen't on, gradually getting worse and had started taking ginger root extract to help take the inflammation down and garlic because I didn't want to get ill as well!

    Early February 09

    I went to see a physio (on the Monday) and he massaged my elbow, shoulder, and neck. The problem in my arm seemed to clear up instantly the same with my hands. I felt like everything was ok now. Went back to work the next day,Tuesday went ok, Wednesday i could feel something coming back, Thursday almost back to how i was pain wise, Friday back to being in pain again.

    Mid February 09

    For some reason the corners of my lips kept cracking and as one side heals, the other cracks.

    1st March 09

    Went back to the physio again but it didn't really matter what he did, it didn't help very much.

    I thought this problem was just in my hands and was maybe a little tendinitis or something related to the typing and weights etc… however after a few weeks of being more active i have felt the same kind of “pain” that lingers in my forearms and hands also in the lower part of my leg mainly on the top of my foot towards the toes and in the muscles opposite my calf. I remember a while back that my big toe on my right foot sometimes hurts a little for no reason and then goes shortly after appearing and it is the same kind of pain. Right now while typing this at my desk my right forearm is hurting and that same pain is in my right leg opposite my calf and my knuckles are turning red and hurting.

    The same pain also seems to be appearing all over the place now in the lower parts of my limbs. My abdomen however appears to be fine, no problems at all in my shoulder, neck, back, etc.

    3rd March 09

    It is my first day back at work after 6 days of not typing and already today my hands are hurting (backs of hands, and joints) after typing this. Over 2 months from when it all started and it appears to be spreading and not getting better. Since the 1st of March I have now stopped taking the 3 supplements (ginger root, garlic, glucosamine and chondroitin) in case those are doing anything.

    5th March 09

    Since i've stopped taking those 3 supplements the symptoms have started clearing up but have not completely gone yet. I can type again now and there are the odd pains in my forearm and the odd finger hurts for a few mins but after a little rest it's good to go again.

    6th March 09

    The night before I went for a 15 minute run at about 7pm, about 8/9pm I had a big meal (4 rounds of buttered toast, 1 tin of beans and sausages, 4 slices of processed cheese, 2 fried eggs, brown and red sauce, salt & pepper. Then went to sleep at about 11pm to wake up at 2am with my left foot sticking out the covers which was very cold, I was cold, and I was really thirsty. I then noticed I had a constant pulsating pain in my left foot that really hurt as I tried to move my foot around under the covers. I tried to get back to sleep but it got worse and after an hour of this I was wide awake. I decided to get a drink and try and warm up my foot but I couldn't put any weight on my foot (couldn't even limp). I crawled down stairs, got a drink and filled up a hot water bottle and took 500mg of paracetamol so I could sleep. I put the hot water bottle under my foot and after about 15 minutes the pain started to go, half hour later I fell to sleep.

    This morning I can put a little weight on my foot, enough to limp. Also my elbow problem has completely gone as well as the problem with my lips cracking in the corners.

    P.P.S. I started taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements but I can not remember if I started taking it before or after this problem started. It was around the same time though.

    To Date

    I've still not been taking any supplements, been running about 7 or 10 miles a week.

    Many of the symptoms have changed now with the warmer weather. Though the pain in my hands is still lingering only when i type and i have a slight cracking sound in my left elbow when i fully straighten it, then relax it. It's not painfull though and if i tense my hand while i do it the crack disapears.

    I also wen't to the doctors yesterday which to be honest was a waist of time.

    Something i have found though, is a small moveable lump on my right middle finger at the first join, towards the palm side. I also have something similar in my neck that i have had for years which seems to change size throughout the year.

    Since this pain has gone on for sooooo long and the fact i've changed everything from my posture to my diet and exercise it still lingers so i am wondering if maybe it is something crystalizing in my muscles causing them to tighten up? Such as gout?

    Thanks for any help.

    Kind regards,




    A lot of what you describe sounds like repetitive stress injury…a computer age scourge. BUT any such injury can be exacerbated by uric acid and thus gout.

    First order of business is to get your uric acid measured. If it's over 7.0 mg/dL gout becomes more suspect…if over 8.0 it's probably confirmed; If it's under 6.0 gout is far less likely. Gout pain, unless its frank podagra of the bunion joint of the big toe can be hard to judfge solely from effect.  If you have an amenable doctor, get an Rx for colchicine…it works VERY well for the pain of gout and is useless for other causes of joint pain. It's almost diagnostic

    Instead of Paracetamol (acetomenophen) why not use some thing like naproxyn or ibuprofen for your pain. Not only is acetomenophen nearly worthless, it is extremely hard on the liver.


    The only way you are going to move forward with this is to get a proper diagnosis.

    In this forum, we focus on gout, and it is easy to pick out some gouty indications from your tale, but you need a more objective view.

    For example, cracked lips are (amongst many other things) a possible sign of dehydration. I have experienced the hand / wrist / arm pain after long days on the computer coupled with extensive driving. Many gout sufferers experience the middle of the night pain in a chilly foot.

    But equally, much of your description is not particularly gout-like. If physio massage relived all gout pain so effectively, we'd all be sending our partners on training courses.

    As you are not presenting all the classic signs of, you should consult a rheumatologist at the earliest opportunity – when you are experiencing joint pain. The rheumatologist can examine fluid from the joint, in a quick, relatively painless procedure called joint aspiration or arthrocentesis. This will tell you clearly if you have gout, so you can plan appropriate treatment.


    Now why couldn't the doctors on the NHS tell me that!?

    After reading your cherry juice articles… i'm gonna give that a try for a few weeks and see if anything changes. If not, i'm off to get my uric acid levels checked… and take it from there.

    I had a blood test recently because of all this and would they already be able to tell me my uric acid levels from it?

    Kind regards,


    VBAssassin said:

    Now why couldn't the doctors on the NHS tell me that!?

    Ah, didn't realise you were in the UK. I only got proper diagnosis after going to Accident & Emergency. Even then it took 4 days. It seems that arthtocentesis is very much a last resort. Pity really, as this is the only definitive test that will rule out other conditions like pseudo gout or septic arthritis.

    Uric acid tests are more useful for managing gout once it has been confirmed, and less reliable for diagnosis. There are two problems:

    1. Uric acid in the blood can fall during a gout attack – uric acid leaves the blood when it forms crystals in the joints and body tissues.
    2. Labs often report values as normal, when they are in fact too high – you must insist on a numeric value, not an uninformed interpretation. There are 2 common scales – mg/dL and μmols/L, with occasional scale variations. Anything much above 6mg/dL (6mg/100ml), 360 μmols/L (3.6 mmol/litre), is a cause for concern.

    Though many people have reported pain relief from cherries & cherry juice, and also black bean broth, this is less important than managing uric acid levels.


    Thanks for your time.

    I took a nice dose of black cherry juice yesterday and drank some chery juice cordial throughout the afternoon. This morning i woke up with tight fingers. After i warmed them up though… i'm now typing with very little pain in my fingers!!!

    I will stick with this cherry juice and if all the symptoms go… what should i do? Because i will likely have gout (or something) waiting just behind the cherry juice… but the doc won't be able to find anything because of it… and if i keep drinking this cherry juice i'm going to have no teeth left and a nice dent in my wallet (the Physio is doing a nice job of that as well)!

    What are the side effects of taking allopurinol long term?

    Sorry to keep bothering you. This will be my last post until i have something more substantial to post in the future.

    Kind regards,


    The most common view is that allopurinol has no long term side effects. One person has complained to me about itching, but this seems very rare.

    Please feel free to post anytime. If I waited until I had something substantial to say, I'd never post anything



    In the United States it is common procedure to test uric acid with each routine blood draw…Some labs call it Chemscreen 25, others something different. It might be the same in UK. So yes, your doctor is likely to have your uric acid number, maybe more than one. Just call his nurse and ask him to look it up for you. There should be no charge. It is good policy to keep a personal copy of ALL tests performed on you ANYWHERE and for ANYTHING…it can come in handy later.

    Years ago I had the same syndrome waking up with stiff fingers that needed a few minutes soak in hot water…it went on for months and months usually in ciold weather. I never even THOUGHT of gout until today…thank you. I guess the allopurinol “cured” me. Live and Learn.

    This topic about gout for 4 months is now closed. Please see How Long Does a Gout Attack Last? which explains why gout attacks can last for 4 months or longer. If you still have questions, please start a new topic.

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