Friday, April 15, 2011

gout II

With my recent gout attack I've decided to do some more research on the subject, including the causes of this serious ailment and what starts the dominoes falling. So far I know that the kidney(or kidneys) are affected and cause a build-up of uric acid in the blood which in turn causes crystals to form in the feet and elsewhere (the damage is not confined to the feet only and affects organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys!). Stress is just one of the catalysts in getting all this going.

Once you have gout, there are ways to minimize the symptoms. Reducing or eliminating sources of purine, such as red meat for an example, eating lots of red and blue fruits which have plenty of natural anti-inflammatory agents (blue berries have zinc as well which helps with the effects of stress), and otherwise restricting one's diet to fish and poultry, vegetables and fruit (with obvious exceptions - asparagus is a no-no).

Our sleep patterns and daily activities could play a part in all this, such as working rotating shifts which puts the body in continuous stress (not a good thing in the long run). A straight shift without variations might be a lot better, and if you're a night person as opposed to a morning one, getting up early in the day for a long period might not be good either, well, in my opinion anyway.

My father's younger brother had gout for many years through the latter part of his life and in the end he was also on kidney dialysis it was so bad. Medications may be necessary in some cases. I use them only when the attacks are so serious that adjustments to my diet alone will not help improve the situation but finding the source of the problem and making the necessary changes there that will eliminate the problem seems to be the best solution. That is better said than done and not as easy as it sounds. Meantime, researchers keep plugging away in trying to find a solution.

This is what I've learned over the last ten years in order to help in my own situation. Meantime, check with you medical professional if you feel you have symptoms or are concerned and just want to know more. I'll post more news later. - V

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