My First Gout Attack – Extreme Sharp Needle-like Pain
On returning home after finishing my duty, I took a few medications, especially paracetamol, to attempt to alleviate the discomfort. As the hours passed I realised that the medications were doing nothing to alleviate the pain in my knee.
Because my job at the time was an early morning one, I opted to get some rest for the remainder of the day. Fortunately, I was able to return to work the next morning as the discomfort had subsided. At the time. I was working as a delivery driver for 12 years prior to feeling this intense tingling discomfort. Of course, because I live in the United Kingdom, all of the drama around knee discomfort began here.
Unfortunately, I was at work one day, and while loading my delivery van, the pain returned, this time in my left knee. I completed my duties and returned home yet again. As the hours passed, the agony worsened to the point that I could hardly move.
It came to the point where I couldn’t even bend my knees, hence my anxiety skyrocketed. I was really concerned about how I would get to work. I was working as a self-employed newspaper delivery driver at the time.
I went to the hospital since I didn’t know what was causing the discomfort in my knee. The medical staff recommended that I get an x-ray to figure out what was causing the severe discomfort in my knee. The x-ray report did not reveal what was wrong with my knee. However, following more testing, I was diagnosed with
Gout. This was the first time I’d ever heard the term “gout.”
Naproxen and Colchicine tablets were prescribed for the pain and inflammation. However, I’ve experienced regular Gout flare-ups since then, from 2014 to this present moment.
What Is Gout And Gout Flare Up Symptoms?
Gout is a kind of arthritis caused by an overabundance of uric acid in the blood, which causes needle-like crystals to develop in the joints. This is an extremely painful condition. If you know someone who has had a Gout attack, simply ask how painful it is and they will tell you. Now I’ll tell you about my experience as a Gout patient.
One of two factors might be causing my high uric acid levels. Either I’m creating too much uric acid in my body, which I’ll discuss some of the diseases that might cause it, or I’m not excreting it properly. Uric acid is one of these waste products, and it gets into the bloodstream.
It’ll be filtered by the kidneys, especially those nephrons, and then expelled into my urine, which I’ll pass out anytime I urinate. So it’s critical that I don’t have too much of this material staying in my blood because if I do, it might clump together and form needle-like crystals in my joints, causing a lot of agony.
What Is Uric Acid, Exactly?
Uric acid is formed when purine is broken down during digestion. Purine breakdown produces it as a by-product.
What Is Purine and How Does It Work?
Purine is a chemical molecule that serves as a building block for nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA, and it is abundant in the foods listed below. Internal organ meats such as livers, kidneys, and sweetbreads are examples. Purine is abundant in certain meats like Pork, beef, and lamb which are examples of red meat. Anchovies, sardines, scallops, and tuna are examples of seafood which also contain purine. Alcohols like beer and some red wines also contain purine.
What Causes Excessive Uric Acid In The
I previously mentioned how much purine-rich food you should eat. Other factors, such as drinking large amounts of fruit juice or drinks containing high fructose corn syrup, might trigger it. This, coupled with a lot of alcohol, has been found to raise uric acid levels. I’ve stated above that beer is high in purines, so when alcohol enters the bloodstream and is filtered by the kidneys before entering the filtrate, which is urine, alcohol and uric acid compete with one another.
The alcohol will be expelled via the kidneys and those nephrons, but the uric acid will be left behind. As a result of not being expelled properly, it builds up in the body.
Gout Flares And How To Treat Them
Gout can be treated with a variety of medicines, but the most important aim during a gout flare is pain control. “Because the pain is so intense, it’s critical to attempt to get it under control as soon as possible,” explains Dr. Saag.
The sort of medicine you take when you have a Gout flare-up is of extreme concern. My personal advise is to avoid taking aspirin when you have Gout and flare up symptoms? because even modest dosages of aspirin can raise uric acid levels in the blood.
Another drug is cyclosporine, which is an immune suppressant as well as a diuretic like loop and thiazide diuretics.
Patients With Gout Who Use Diuretics
Patients with Gout who use Diuretics have a tendency to urinate a lot. You may become dehydrated as a result of this. When a patient is dehydrated, fresh urine becomes extremely concentrated, creating ideal circumstances for your acid to build up. Keep in mind that it’s one of the urine’s waste products.
When To Start Taking Uric Acid-Lowering Medication
Despite the fact that uric acid accumulation causes Gout, now is not the time to begin taking a uric acid-lowering medication. (If you’re currently on one of these drugs, such as allopurinol or febuxostat, you should keep taking it even if your gout flares.
Your Doctor might need to recommend a blood test to determine whether or not you should take a drug like Allopurinol.
Common Medications Priscribed By Your Doctor For Gout Flare-Ups
Alternatively, your doctor would likely prescribe a larger dose of an NSAID, such as Naproxen, or a steroid, such as prednisone. According to Dr. Saag, your doctor may inject a steroid directly into the afflicted joint or put you on an intravenous steroid if the pain is severe enough.
Another drug that is occasionally used to treat Gout flares is Colchicine. This medication isn’t a typical pain reliever because it doesn’t appear to help with pain caused by other disorders.
According to a Cochrane Review, around 40 out of 100 persons who used colchicine during a Gout episode assessed their pain 50% lower than those who took a placebo. However, there is a significant chance of adverse effects such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea, especially when taken at high dosages.
The Importance Of Letting Your Doctor Know All The Medications You Have Been Taking For A Gout Flare-up
If you’ve previously had Gout flare-ups and are now seeing a new provider or being treated in the emergency department, its important to inform the doctor about the therapies you’ve taken during an acute episode and how well (or not) they worked for you.
From my research, Dr. Saag stated that, a Gout flare-up generally resolves within a few days with therapy. However, you might be dealing with it for a few weeks if you don’t address it.
What Medication Does My Doctor Recommend For My Gout flare-ups?
Naproxin 500mg pills for pain, Colchicine for joint swelling, and Gastro-Resistant Omeprazole Capsules are the most common medications recommended for me. Over-the-Counter Pain Relief Spray would also be on my shopping list (Ex. Deep Heat). These medicines, in my opinion, are not always effective in reducing the pain. There are times when I just have to let the Gout attack heal on its own.
Gout Flare-up: Natural Treatments
While you’re on medication to combat the pain and inflammation of a Gout flare-up, there are a few additional basic Gout home remedies you may try to relieve the agony. Rest is essential, and attempt to keep the affected joint elevated.
If your toe is the issue, for example, elevate your foot. Ice may also be beneficial since it reduces edoema. According to studies, ice is particularly relaxing for Gout; but, if you have another kind of arthritis, a heating pad may be a better option.
During a Gout flare-up, some patients claim that eating cherries or drinking sour cherry juice helps. While studies have indicated that cherry enthusiasts are less likely to experience frequent Gout flares, it’s unclear if eating a lot of cherries
during an attack can help.
Because cherries are high in antioxidants, they may be beneficial, and tart cherries may help decrease uric acid levels.
What To Do When You Have A Gout Flare-Up
While an individual Gout episode is conceivable, Dr. Saag adds that “normally once Gout occurs, you’ll require ongoing medication to maintain it.” If you don’t take frequent uric-acid-lowering medicine or find another means to decrease your
uric acid levels, cutting back on alcohol, decreasing your bodyweight, and avoiding high purine meals may help.
You’ll likely have shorter intervals between Gout flare-ups over time, he says. “Gout develops into chronic arthritis, which may be very disabling.”
My Recent Gout Attack
I had a Gout attack September 05, 2021. This attack was very disabling. I was bed bound for more than 2 weeks. Majority of the days I was not able to get off the bed to even open my room door, as the pain was in both of my knees and ankles.
I must assure you that this can be a very crippling and scary moment, especially if you are living alone. It was really difficult for me to move around and do anything whatsoever. There were days when I could not even have a shower because I just could not walk.
The intensity of the pain can be unbearable at times but what can You do. The medications do not seem to help ease the pain sometimes. This is the kind of pain that I would not wish on my worst enemy.
If you’ve had gout before or not, you’ll know something’s amiss when it flares up: It’s difficult to ignore the intense pain and swelling that frequently develops in a single joint (usually the big toe).
If you’ve never experienced Gout and think others who have it are exaggerating, then look at this study: 37% of patients with Gout would gladly give up a winning lottery ticket if they never had to endure another gout flare.
Of course, making such a compromise isn’t an option. So, what are your real-life options? The greatest thing you can do is call your doctor right away. “ As soon as you feel a twinge, you should seek medical attention,” advises Joseph Huffstutter, MD, of Arthritis Associates in Hixson, Tennessee. “The simpler it is to treat a gout attack the sooner you treat it.”
If you have never had Gout before, my advise would be to do all you can to stay away from this disease. It can affect your health and livelihood in a significant way. At the time of this article, I have been off work for almost a month as I’m still experiencing pains in my right ankle and toes. Stay healthy and I hope you will be encouraged by this information and most of all, my experience living with Gout attacks.