No Gout About It

If you do follow my blog and wonder why I missed a day in posting about my countdown to the Hong Kong trip, it’s been moved to a combined blog site specially created for all the award winners to share about the trip.

Please do follow my Hong Kong experience at Omy’s My Hong Kong Travel Blog. You can also vote for your favourite travel blogger there. (I hope you’ll vote for me!)

So instead of duplicating contents on both blogs, although there will be overlaps in talking points, I’m going back to the original intent of Celebrate Life!, and that is to record some of the major milestones in my life.

And yesterday marked another ‘milestone’. It is not a happy one, but something that will hopefully serve as a reminder for me to take better care of myself and as a cautionary tale that health is a privilege.

Yesterday, I’m diagnosed with the possibility of having gout. Although the doctor was cautious to confirm the diagnosis without a blood test, I have all the classic gout symptoms at the classic part of the body to have gout.

Right foot got bigger than the left.

SYMPTOMS OF GOUT

• Painful inflammation of joints (most often at the base of the big toe although other parts of the body such as knees, heels, fingers, etc).

• The swelling is usually red as opposed to the purplish blue inflammations caused by sprains or external bodily accidents.

• The swelling develop during the night (when the body temperature is lower).

I went to bed on Thursday night (15 Jul 10) and woke up with Ronald McDonald’s right foot the next day. It was sooooooooo painful! So I guess there’s no doubt about it. I got gout.

The pain was really biting and I could hardly walk. When I did, it took 5 times the amount of time to get from one place to another – from home to office, to first clinic (closed), to another clinic, to market and finally home. And the worst thing was, when I was at the doc, it rained heavily and I was stuck there for almost an hour. 祸不单行。Misery sure loves company.

But the pain and rain were not the most swuey of it all. The worst was the doctor of Chua Clinic, Whampoa Drive. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation…

Excerpt 1 :

Me : So this is gout huh?
Doc : Did I say it is gout? Without a blood test, it cannot be confirmed that it is.
Me : *frustrated* Okay, then based on your experience, is this gout?
Doc : Your swelling is the classic joint for gout inflammation.
Me : So it is gout?
Doc : Without blood test, cannot confirm.
Me : *speechless*

But in my consultation record, he wrote down… “gout arthritis”. What the %&$*!

Excerpt 2 :

Me : How long do you think it takes to recover because I’m going on a trip next Friday.
Doc : You going to the North Pole?
Me : *baffled* Huh? North Pole? No, I’m going on an overseas trip.
Doc : Are you going climbing?
Me : *lagi confused!* Huh?
Doc : You said going on a trip what. Going to the North Pole is going on a trip. Going to Orchard Road is also making a trip.
Me : *balls twisting!!* If someone says going on a trip, common sense would tell you that it means going overseas. And that doesn’t mean North Pole. But if I’m concerned about how long it takes to heal, naturally it means there’s going to be a considerable amount of walking! I’m going to Hong Kong.
Doc : It will take 2 to 3 days with medication.

I need an aspirin for the headache he gave me. No wait, I’m allergic to it. But compared to dealing with him again, I’d rather take the aspirin.

CAUSES OF GOUT AND DIETARY CAUTION

Known as the ‘rich man disease’ (then I shouldn’t get it since I’m not rich!), gout happens when the body is unable to process uric acid efficiently or the level of uric acid in the body is too high.

Consistently high levels of uric acid can lead to the formation of needle-like crystals in the joint area and when the hard crystals rub against the surrounding muscles tissues, the abrasion causes the area to swell. The crystals can also be deposited in the kidneys and leads to kidney stones.

Gout can be a recurring condition and has a strong causal relationship with alcohol, sugar, meat and seafood consumption. These foods lead to the production of purine which feeds the uric acid. So the sensible thing to do with the onset of gout is to modify the diet. Here’s a list of foods to avoid or eat in moderation :

• Alcohol
• Meat and meat products (especially internal organs such as liver and kidney)
• Meat extracts (eg. Bovril)
• Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackarel, scallops

It is commonly believed that beans and bean products, which also causes high purine levels should be avoided. However, that myth has been dispelled. Plant-based purine and animal-based purine are different.

I’m not sure how true is that so here’s a list of vegetables high in purine : asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, green peas, lentils, dried peas, beans, oatmeal, wheat bran, and wheat germ.

Looks like there’s nothing left to eat!!!! But it is maintained that a plant-based diet is generally low in purine. The doc said that his friend who suffers from gout turned vegetarian and since then, the symptoms never came back. Hmm… maybe it’s time to go moo?

THIS IS SERIOUS

About 2 weeks ago, I blogged about wanting to quit alcohol but I still drank, abet less frequently and in lesser quantities. I even prayed about it. I asked God to help me curb my drinking. I guess my prayer has been answered.

God, can help me in a positive manner or not? How come each time ask You for help, the solution is another problem so that it distracts from the other problem huh? But if it is Your will, then give me the strength to go through it and the words to blog about it! Haha.

Gout is no joke as it can be an indication of latent health problems. I just hope it is not too late to reverse the wheel. Next week, I’m going to Hong Kong and then to Bangkok and Hua Hin. I’m already thinking about how I’m going to miss some of the foods I love at those places.

Swelling became red on the second day.

For now, I’m keeping to a strict diet so that hopefully I can still indulge with moderation by then. Or should I not risk it?

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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. storyofbing
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 10:59:07

    Don’t risk it. When the pain catches you off guard, you’ll be practically paralysed. My husband was diagnosed with gout in Feb 2010. His foot hurt so badly, he couldn’t even go downstairs for breakfast. I swear I saw tears in his eyes. See my post on this – http://www.storyofbing.com/?p=3152
    So yes, cut WAY DOWN on meat, beans and alcohol. You’ll know when you’ve overdone it. Your foot will start to tingle. :-p
    The good part of all this is that you’ll be forced to cut back on meat + alcohol and you’ll be trimmer in no time. =)
    Good luck!

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:45:34

      yeah, that’s true. bad enough to be ‘crippled’, worse when it’s in foreign ground. ur hubby’s swelling looked really, really bad. hope no more relapse…
      and it’s true what u said. after i read all the things that i cannot eat, it’s as if my life is over!! no more champagne lunch at w hotel liao. :o(

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:45:34

      yeah, that’s true. bad enough to be ‘crippled’, worse when it’s in foreign ground. ur hubby’s swelling looked really, really bad. hope no more relapse…
      and it’s true what u said. after i read all the things that i cannot eat, it’s as if my life is over!! no more champagne lunch at w hotel liao. :o(

      Reply

  2. storyofbing
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 10:59:07

    Don’t risk it. When the pain catches you off guard, you’ll be practically paralysed. My husband was diagnosed with gout in Feb 2010. His foot hurt so badly, he couldn’t even go downstairs for breakfast. I swear I saw tears in his eyes. See my post on this – http://www.storyofbing.com/?p=3152
    So yes, cut WAY DOWN on meat, beans and alcohol. You’ll know when you’ve overdone it. Your foot will start to tingle. :-p
    The good part of all this is that you’ll be forced to cut back on meat + alcohol and you’ll be trimmer in no time. =)
    Good luck!

    Reply

  3. kinkythepanda
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 18:02:09

    God doesn’t “give” you a problem to another problem, he doesn’t work that way 🙂 Get well soon Darren!

    Reply

  4. kinkythepanda
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 18:02:09

    God doesn’t “give” you a problem to another problem, he doesn’t work that way 🙂 Get well soon Darren!

    Reply

  5. heliosrealm
    Jul 18, 2010 @ 08:28:00

    ouch, get well darren..Its time to keep up some diet.
    Read that Boosting Vit C intake might helps.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gout
    Take care ~~!

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:48:27

      thanks… yeah, i did my initial research at wiki too and confirmed it with other sites that vit c seems to help. been gorging on them the last few days. heh…

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:48:27

      thanks… yeah, i did my initial research at wiki too and confirmed it with other sites that vit c seems to help. been gorging on them the last few days. heh…

      Reply

  6. heliosrealm
    Jul 18, 2010 @ 08:28:00

    ouch, get well darren..Its time to keep up some diet.
    Read that Boosting Vit C intake might helps.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gout
    Take care ~~!

    Reply

  7. Anonymous
    Jul 22, 2010 @ 11:30:54

    Hope you’re feeling better!
    Hey Darren, saw your FB update earlier about the gout. It’s no joke indeed. Hope you’re feeling much better.
    Your doctor sounds worse than the gout pain! Terrible!

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Aug 13, 2010 @ 02:43:47

      Re: Hope you’re feeling better!
      after about 3 weeks, still some tingling in the swell area and somehow feel the joints in my body are stiffening up. yikes!
      yeah, the doc was more painful but at least he temporarily distracted me from the gout pain. wahahaha…

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Aug 13, 2010 @ 02:43:47

      Re: Hope you’re feeling better!
      after about 3 weeks, still some tingling in the swell area and somehow feel the joints in my body are stiffening up. yikes!
      yeah, the doc was more painful but at least he temporarily distracted me from the gout pain. wahahaha…

      Reply

  8. Anonymous
    Jul 22, 2010 @ 11:30:54

    Hope you’re feeling better!
    Hey Darren, saw your FB update earlier about the gout. It’s no joke indeed. Hope you’re feeling much better.
    Your doctor sounds worse than the gout pain! Terrible!

    Reply

  9. serenecrue
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:55:51

    pavement reflectors
    Oh thanks for sharing that,I am not smoker but my hubby need to know that fact. pavement reflectors

    Reply

  10. serenecrue
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:55:51

    pavement reflectors
    Oh thanks for sharing that,I am not smoker but my hubby need to know that fact. pavement reflectors

    Reply

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