Diagnosed with Gout

Diagnosed with Gout

Welcome To My Blog On GOUT!

My name is Spiro Koulouris and I suffer from gout. Considered one of the most painful of the rheumatic conditions, gout afflicts an estimated 840 out of 100,000 people, accounting for about 5% of all cases of arthritis. As a gout sufferer for over 10 years now, it can be quite a “pain in the toe” in having to deal with this disease or disorder if you prefer. I remember when I was first diagnosed with it, how shocked and stressed I was, thinking my doctor had made a grave mistake and that I needed a second opinion. Then reality sunk in and my new life began, living with this disease. I remember I was given the drug Colchicine and Allopurinol and was told by my doctor I had to take them for the rest of my life. I recall the diarrhea the Colchicine gave me a few times a day and then stopping to take it and telling my doctor that I’ll only stick to Allopurinol 200mg a day. Since then I’ve rebelled against my doctor’s demands and have become my own doctor, struggling to battle and overtake this disease by experimenting with my prescription drug dosage and eating habits more importantly.

I’ve bought pill cutters slicing my Allopurinol daily intake to 100 mg and then down to 50 mg without my doctor’s consent, I’ve even stopped it completely thinking I had it beat a couple times with good dieting, only to get an attack and go back to the drawing board trying to figure out what I did wrong, what foods I ate the last several days, what did I drink the last few days and have noticed whenever I get an attack, alcoholic beverages came into play the past few days. That is my personal gout trigger. Even a glass of wine with my meal but usually I had 2-4 days of drinking a couple of beers, then the next day a glass of wine, nothing like a drinking binge with friends at the local bar or anything like that; just a couple of drinks did the trick for me to get a painful gout attack in my right toe and having my wife yelling at me “You don’t take your pills…What are you, your own doctor?…You like to suffer like that?….Spiro I can’t see you like this!…” and so on. Psychologically it screws with your mind, being so young and having to deal with this handicap by walking with a cane and limping in embarrassment, having to explain yourself to family and friends what gout is and how you got it. Makes you feel defeated, having friends tell you: “You got rich man’s disease Spiro, cut the burgers and Coke!” It’s true when I got my first gout attack I was 240 pounds, about 50 pounds overweight for a 5’11 guy, eating Big Macs, lots of fries and loved to drink a can of Coca-Cola in the afternoons so the caffeine and sugar can wake me up at work for the final stretch of the day. Little did I know by drinking that can of Coca-Cola, I was swallowing about 9 teaspoons of sugar (about 39 grams), the entire recommended daily sugar intake for men in one day!!!

Many doctors and health practitioners have recently studied and concluded how “fructose corn syrup” is causing so many health problems to us today. Here’s a great explanation from some fellow at wiki.answers.com:

“Gout is triggered by the presence of crystals of uric acid in your joints. It extremely painful. Many people with gout have high levels of uric acid in their blood stream. Oddly enough some people with gout do not have high levels of uric acid in their blood. Dig deeper.

Fructose is an unusual sugar for humans to eat. We have no system to break down fructose polymers. The only sources of fructose we can use are the simple sugar in fruit or honey and as the molecule combined with glucose as sucrose, ie table sugar. Drenching your metabolism with fructose is a recent innovation for humans. The current preferred sweetener for soft drinks is “high fructose corn syrup”, a product of our dearly beloved food industry in the last thirty years or less.

NutriGout Dietary Supplement for Gout

 

What happens when you drench you metabolism with fructose?

It enters the metabolic pathway of carbohydrate below its main control step and is immediately converted to fructose-1-phosphate. Quite why evolution has arranged things this way is a mystery, but my suspicion is that evolution does not like free fructose in human metabolism. So drinking a small bucket of cola will put 100gm of fructose in to your liver. This will require a large input of phosphate to for the fructose-1-phosphate, leaving very little for the generation of adenosine tri phosphate (ATP), the primary energy currency of our cells. A lack of ATP triggers activity of the degradation system for adenine and the production of, guess what, uric acid! Gout, and not a serving of kidneys in sight. Until 100 years ago only the rich could afford enough sugar to get gout, now it is a feature of metabolic syndrome and available to all.

Incidentally the fructose has to be “put” somewhere, and that is in to fat for storage, via elevated triglyceride levels in the blood. It causes insulin resistance too. Even the full metabolic syndrome!

In fact, probably the truth is that fructose causes insulin resistance, which causes gout. The hyperuricaemia and the fact that the joints produce uric acid crystals do not have to be causally related. I’d say they’re not.”

Furthermore, a study published in 2008 by the British Medical Journal found that men who drank 2 or more soft drinks each day carried an 85% higher risk of developing gout than men who drank less than 1 soda a month. So the correlation between soft drinks and gout is very strong fellow sufferer.

There is public enemy #1, sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Makes sense cause whenever I a had a gout attack, I’d have a few Jack Daniels whisky and Cokes a few hours before. But everybody is different for what I’ve researched, gout sufferers all over the world get their attacks eating and drinking different foods & beverages but a common denominator that I’ve noticed from other sufferers is high fructose corn syrup has caused a lot of damage to kidneys around the world and is the main culprit in this escalating problem where men and women diagnosed with gout has seen a steady increase.

I still take my allopurinol dose every day now at 100 mg to play it safe but I’ve found the right diet plan to keep those uric acid levels low through tons of blood experiments with my body and unfortunately I’ve discovered that since I also suffer from minor thalassemia, I am more prone to higher uric acid levels than the average person without any other conditions. Obviously this is something that is genetic and hard to beat by diet alone for me that is but for you it could be a whole different story.

So welcome, feel free to comment, explore, experiment and tell us your story about living with gout. What triggers it for you, what successes you’ve achieved with your health, what failures have you learned from; I don’ t pretend to know everything and be an expert in gout, so if you have some knowledge about a certain subject on gout, feel free to share it here and debate with each other in the pursuit of knowledge about this disease. At the end, the end result is to finally defeat it and live a healthy life without this disorder.

I hope you enjoy this blog!

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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33 Comments

  • Gerald Stone

    Reply Reply April 23, 2017

    Hi Spiro!

    Being a long term sufferer from the dreaded gout, i thought it about time i got it sorted as it’s made my life a misery for the last several years.

    If you can offer any suggestions to alleviate this condition that i have not tried, i would greatly appreciate it.

    Having initlialy been prescribed Indometacin by my GP several years ago, the medication appeared to control the pain if it was treated at the onset of the tingle in the big toe. The condition would eventually subside after a week or so, but would return after about 6 months, would return.

    After several more visits to the GP over the next few years and trying Colchicine, Naproxen and others that i have forgotten about, the bouts of gout are now re-occurring every other week or so.

    I have also tried cherries/ juice/ concentrates, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda, stinging nettle juice, cider vinegar, various B vitamin supplements, all to no avail

    The GP previously had prescribed Allupurinol, which would help ,but on taking it, i experienced the worst gout i have ever had.

    I am now reluctant to take Alluprinol, but have been told that this can only be taken between bouts of gout, which since October 2016 , have not arisen.

    My diet is very basic, fish, rice,chicken, vegetables and fruit, no red meat,no shellfish, I do not drink beer any more , neither red wine, and drink lots of water daily.

    Apologies for going on a bit, but possibly one of your other sufferers have also gone down this route.

    Kind regards,

    Gerry

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply April 23, 2017

      Hi Gerald!

      Stick to the dietary and lifestyle advice in this website and my ebook. Eat 80% of your daily calories as complex carbs like vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, whole grain breads, pastas and rices. 10% of your daily calories should be lean meats like chicken breast, turkey, fish and some red meat. The final 10% of your daily calories should consist of fat in milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, butter…

      Drink only water, tea and some coffee. No alcohol or sugary beverages whatsoever.

      Limit your sugar intake to 25 grams a day max. So little fruit and avoid all these processed snacks. While you are at it, avoid processed meats and food at the grocery store. Learn to eat fresh foods as grown from the earth and you will see an improvement in your health.

  • Kathy

    Reply Reply December 21, 2016

    Do I have gout? I am a female, about 5 ft. 6 in. I only weigh about 125 pounds. Urine in the blood. The test came back with high uric acid levels. Although I have pain, it’s not in my feet, ankles, etc.

  • Jason

    Reply Reply November 26, 2016

    Great article!!! I’m 36 years old and had my first gout attack 2 years ago. My ankle swelled up and felt like a bad sprain. It took several trips to a few doctors before they could figure out what it was. I altered my diet temporarily until it went away. After a month or so of being careful, I was back to my old lifestyle. Beers a couple days a week and a lot of proteins and red meats. A couple things I do have going for me are that I never drink soda, and I drink about 8-10 bottles of water a day. So I’m good on the whole dehydration issues.

    So nearly 2 years go by and no signs of issues. Until 2 months ago. Another attack, same foot, but this time the ball of my foot and big toe. I’ve significantly decreased my beer drinking as well as red meats. I’ve been eating hummus and a lot of dairy based proteins such as yogurt. While the foot has gotten better, (and I am on colchicine), and it gets to about 100% for a few days and then it flares up very slightly after I go for a walk. So it’s really difficult for me to get my exercise as I do need to drop about 30 lbs. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply November 28, 2016

      Thanks for your comment Jason!

      Try and do some weight-lifting while you wait for your foot to heal. I recommend biking instead of running, it less harsh on your feet, if you prefer cardiovascular exercise.

      • Les

        Reply Reply January 9, 2017

        Hi Spiro, I had high gamma t in my liver tests so decided to help it with ACV. A week later I sudddenly had gout for the first time. I have read that some drugs breakdown the Uric acid crystals and I wonder if any one else has experienced those?

  • George Echeagaray

    Reply Reply November 15, 2016

    Hi there people,

    This year I had my first gout attack and thank you god it was not that terrible. Right now I´m 24 years old and the week before I got the gout, I felt like tingle on my ankles and that feeling starts after meals (meals with meat), then I thought that something was wrong and did a blood analysis and guess what? 9mg/dL of uric acid.

    Then, after a weak I saw how my hands and big toe get bigger and having the flesh hot.

    After that I did a huge lookup about uric acid and diet to avoid bad food for me. Three months passed and the feeling on my toe and hands return, it was like having little needles under my skin. 9.5 of uric acid…

    After that the uric acid start depositing in my knees and that causes me to walk like a 90 years old person for a week straight!

    Right now I´m kind of depressed eventhough I did not have a gout attack since 2 months ago and I don’t want to take febuxostat for the rest of my life (I´m allergic to allopurinol).

    I used to do a lot of sports and since March I left the gym, lost 6kg (12pounds) of muscle and got depressed…

    Does anybody have something to say or share with me?

    [email protected]

  • charles

    Reply Reply August 22, 2016

    Excellent post.

    I have had gout for many years now but have been free of a full on attack for over 2 years because of one simple quick fix that I discovered. Works like a charm.

    We all know the pregout feeling that emerges in either our feet or hands. As soon as I feel this feeling, I take 2 advil and 2-3 vitamins E pills. The next day it’s gone.

    Sometimes, like last night, I recognized the gout quite late and I thought that I was in for another nasty ride. My left toe was hurting like crazy but i could still walk on it. So I took the 2 & 3 pills as above and today it is all but gone.

    2 advil and 2-3 vitamins E pills. Works every time. No expensive meds, no real side effects. One still needs to change ones diet and get plenty of exercise.

    Be healthy.

  • James Corrigan

    Reply Reply July 26, 2016

    Things i know that set gout off are low dose aspirin mushrooms, real Ales, home made beer, liver, eating too much high protein foods and foods high in B vitamins. According to reports, diet cola does not bring on gout. It does! I know this. It dehydrates you to not drinking enough water given away by yellow pee brings on gout, if you don`t get hydrated. Diet cola dehydrates you. I get attacks on both big toe joints and sometimes on the areas behind the other toes, extending up the foot. The only pain relief and it`s limited is Naproxeen. Icy salted water in a basin helps. Cherries don`t work. Tried this, the dark ones too. No use at all. Curry rich in Turmeric helps a bit. Avoid orange juice of any kind and vitamin supplements which will make a bad situation worse.

  • Deborah Semenyck

    Reply Reply May 12, 2016

    I was recently diagnosed with gout…had the blood test and my uric acid levels were high…I have been following your suggestions in the book….I had a recheck of my uric acid levels after 2 weeks of following the gout diet…I don’t know the results yet but I do feel a lot better…thanks for writing the book…it is helpful in my quest to manage gout

  • Neil

    Reply Reply March 25, 2016

    As a gout sufferer I have been told to cut down on my alcohol and beer. is it safe to drink non alcoholic beer?
    Many thanks

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply March 25, 2016

      Hi Neil!

      There is no issue with non-alcoholic beer, so go ahead and enjoy some.

  • Ted

    Reply Reply February 26, 2016

    I too have gout I’ve been told that it is a result of anti rejection drug cyclosporine I’ve been on fo 30+ years. I usually get it in my ankles and toes but why are the balls of my feet so affected? The attacks last anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks I’ve been in motorcycle wrecks that haven’t been as painful NOTHING seems to work for me other than laying around the house like a stuffed trout and waiting fir it to run its course. I don’t drink to excess but when I have a beer or a glass of whiskey my wife will (bless her ladies Christian temperance union) heart remind me that I’ll get gout I’m going to try to stop drinking completely and see how that works

  • John

    Reply Reply October 8, 2015

    Gout started for me three years ago. The first attack was horrible. It lasted two weeks. Completely disappear then started again three months ago. I tried everything to treat it, I tried cutting booze and steak and all the purine rich foods that the doctor told me to. Nothing worked. I finally took a medicine called Cochisine, instant success. Since then I have not altered my diet, heavy booze and me and high purine foods. This does not make it come back. I do not think there is any cause for gout that we can identify. I love you all, and I sympathize, and empathize

    • Sam

      Reply Reply February 26, 2016

      Hi John, some personal sharing here. I read articles title “To Those Having Gout Problem” mentioned that a special gout remedy call gout papaya green tea extract extremely good to help cure gout issue. See the article at:
      http://kidbuxblog.com/to-those-having-gout-problem/

  • wilfried

    Reply Reply September 18, 2015

    it is good to read that people don’t want to take medicines with bad side effects which don’t heal you. Good.
    Yes let food be your medicine!
    My input here is that the right type of medicinal herbs will speed up your healing process.

  • Mike

    Reply Reply September 11, 2015

    Hello everyone. Good to find this blog, I’m at my wits end. I’ve been having Gout attacks on and off for about 5 years now. I have refused to take the medication because of potential side effects. The last doc visit for Gout ended in tears and a cortisol shot. I am not afraid to say that I cried because I was in severe pain and depressed about my inability to keep up with my children. I’ve tried to diet and excersize but its difficult to find the time with three kids. Today I had a fever associated with my attack. Flu like symptoms only come on when I get really inflamed. I think is was a lack of water,and I started a water app to keep up with my hydration. I started it three days ago and so far im up to 146oz a day. I’ve done plenty of research on this subject and only found foods high in purines are the culprit. I find it interesting that fructose is a contributor. I grew up on coke with meals.I really believe stress is part of this too. I didnt start having attacks until the recession and construction layoffs. I also find it interesting that folks have crusty ears. I also have had slight crust on my ear, and severe dryness on my nose. My questions are why crusty skin? Does it worsen with stress? Mine does. Are my kidneys going to fail if I dont take Alpurinol? Are there side effects to Alpurinol? Im applying for a new job that will hopefully bring stability and lower my stress.

  • Gary Palichuk

    Reply Reply August 29, 2015

    Hi , ive suffered from chronic gout since i was 22 , i am now 43.
    There wasnt a day where i would see something that would help my issue.
    Most didnt work , i have read that hypothyroidism might be a trigger, i have to get more info before i can give you an honest reply.
    I am half Greek , Ukrainian, Polish , i am thinking my Greek side may have something to do with it.
    I have been bouncing up and down with my weight and think my attacks are closely related, i stay very fit and my diet is lets say normal .
    I have tried all the usual drugs most dont work, allopurinol is an option but what ive heard about side affects im skeptical.
    I am interested in the relationship with fructose and gout, i do find that could hold water in very controlled tests , i would be curious to see how the results would be.
    I did have an idea , i wonder how uric acid holds up to low level electricity treatments, i mean it is an acid and can be broke down……something to think about anyways.
    Best of luck to everyone in the fight.
    Gary Palichuk

  • Linda

    Reply Reply August 21, 2015

    I ve had one gout attack in my toe and dr put me on allopurinol 100 but it’s been. 2 mos and no gout attacks but I’m itching all over tearing up my skin I’ve opted for tart cherry extract in lieu of allopurinol

  • David

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    I started getting gout at the age of 23 and was told it was an old mans disease but having hypothyroidism at 17 I’ve heard all that before. i stopped taking the tablets at 25 after i realised it was my large intake of cola that was responsible. sometimes drinking up to 2lts a day! I had classic symptoms of my big toe swelling and white acid lumps forming on the grisal of my ears. sometime the swelling would extend to my whole foot and ankle. I still drink the occassional cola but rarely have an attack unless i over do it then i regret it in the morning. My cola habit did mess me up somewhat when i was younger gout, weight problems, lost enamal on teeth. Im glad gout put a stop to it or i would probably be diabetic by now at 35.

    • Scott

      Reply Reply August 3, 2015

      David the ear crystals statement you made shocked me! I am currently suffering from a hour attack for a few weeks now. It seems to be bouncing around my body like a pinball. Both elbows the both ankles and both toes. Anyways I have noticed a lot of weird crusties in my ears and could figure it out. Do you know for sure it’s linked to gout?

  • Cheryl

    Reply Reply February 26, 2015

    I just had my first attack of gout yesterday, and I’ll echo what you have said–it’s the worst pain I’ve ever had, and that includes comparing it to 3 childbirths, a couple of broken bones, and plenty of athletic related injuries. I’m not a wimp at all. I’m a 51 yr old white female, 5’8, 130#, physically active, not a big drinker, so you can imagine my shock when I hobbled into the after-hours clinic last night and got this diagnosis. I consume plenty of dairy, and the only markers I can see that I have is frequently eating red meat, and drinking soda with high fructose corn syrup. I’m still trying to process this and figure out what to do to minimize any future attacks. Look forward to seeing what I can learn from your experience.

  • eric tidwell

    Reply Reply February 21, 2015

    I had my first and only gout attack about 6 years ago. My grandfather had severe Gout and would be laid up for months as I recall. I believe he had it in his toe and knees. My first gout attack was the worst pain I had ever experienced. I have had broken bones, dislocated shoulders, sprained ankles, knee reconstruction after tearing my ACl, auto and motorcycle accident. NONE of those injuries compared anything, in terms of pain, to gout. I remembered going to the ER after several hours of pain, hobbling in on my crutches, with the blood flowing down to my toe! Excruciatingly painful…The nurse asked me how I would rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10? I told her beyond 10…10+…

    Now fast forward 6 years- After I was diagnosed with Gout, I was horrified because I new what awaited me- I felt doomed and remembered all the pain my grandfather went through! Unfortunately, my grandfather didn’t have access to the internet! I began to research everything about gout; here has what has helped me keep gout in remission:

    1. I used to take a daily aspirin regiment for heart protection. Found out aspirin is a BIG NO NO! Stopped using aspirin.
    2. I drink a quart of pure black cherry juice about every 2 weeks. I dilute the cherry juice with water to make it last longer.
    3. I take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every morning. No the acid in vinegar is not related to uric acid. Just the opposite.
    4. I do not eat a lot of shell fish or tuna! Very moderate amounts maybe once a month.
    5. Increased my exercise by cycling at least 3 or 4 times a week.
    6. Increased my fruit intake.
    7. Now this will shock you- I continue to drink beer in pretty substantial amounts and during the past 6 years, by making the above changes, NO GOUT ATTACK.

    • Adam

      Reply Reply October 13, 2016

      Now this I will try – I am getting a bit upset at all the sites that basically just say “we are not 100% sure if beer causes gout but stop anyway because alcohol is bad” that is just a cop out from health nuts 🙂 lol
      Hopefully your suggestions work for me – I feel that my gout is related to lack of water as I always drink beer with no issue but when I have an extra, extra big night with no water that is when it kicks in…

  • Dr. Olaf Adelt (MD)

    Reply Reply October 21, 2014

    I’ve been one of the test rabbits for these guys: http://www.adsalutem.com, 4 years ago. The gave me a 3-weeks diet and told me what to avoid. That was nearly identical with your advises. After that diet I didn’t have any gout attack, and I started to eat and drink again … It was all about food, and no medication.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply October 21, 2014

      Great to hear Dr.Olaf! It is all about food and that’s what people don’t realize, it’s so simple but yet we complicate things always looking for a cure-all remedy instead.

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