Food is great to celebrate with but gout sucks. I’m thinking in future I should be more careful with my dietary choices.
Now, just a warning, this is a bit of a rambling post with little to no direction!
So no photographs from a walk around Lake Ginninderra this weekend. I didn’t even manage to walk to the shops, I had to drive. You see my left ankle is in excruciating pain. Well, it would be if it wasn’t for the miracle of modern medicine that are pharmaceutical products aimed to reduce and mask pain.
Let me backtrack a bit. In my past, I’ve had the occasional episode of gout. For those that don’t know, gout is an accumulation of uric acid and in some joints, the uric acid precipitates as crystals in the synovial fluid. A gouty joint is a painful joint. In medical school, we were taught that even the weight of a sheet can cause excruciating pain in a gouty toe. It’s all true. Each time I’ve experienced gout the pain is indeed excruciating and when I lay down to sleep I need to build a little tent at the foot of my bed with pillows to avoid anything touching my foot.
In the past, my experience with gout has always been associated with attempts to lose weight, usually by consuming fewer carbohydrates with a concomitant increase in animal protein. Gout is associated with an increased intake of purines and pyrimidines in the diet. These things are found in the nuclei of cells, so when you have lots of rapidly dividing cells you get lots of purines and pyrimidines. These are found in all meat including red meat and especially meat from the reticuloendothelial system, like liver. The highest concentration will be found in products like bone marrow which is becoming very popular in cooking shows like Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules. So if you supplement your diet with pâté and lots of red meat, gout may be a frequent visitor.
So it’s strange that I’m suffering this weekend. I haven’t been trying to lose weight despite wanting to lose weight. My diet hasn’t been particularly rich in protein and rapidly dividing cells. I’ve been eating a good amount of vegetable matter. However, it’s also winter, so I admit my water intake could be better but I do drink a lot of fluids.
On Friday, I received a little good news and felt like celebrating.
I bought 21 pieces of KFC and enjoyed dinner and used the leftover KFC for a chicken casserole.
Friday night, as has become a tradition, was crapulent. I was awake at 2 am and couldn’t really get to sleep until about 5.30 am and then it was basically time to get out of bed. Why do I regularly experience insomnia on a Friday night? When I stepped out of bed, my left ankle started to hurt. I did wonder if I had hurt it the previous day when I rolled it slightly. The pain progressively got worse over the course of the day and by the early afternoon, I had assumed it was the beginning of an episode of gout. I found some Indomethacin and began the antiinflammatory treatment.
Now, chicken isn’t on the list of gouty foods, but I do eat quite a bit of chicken and salmon. I’ve been deliberately reducing my red meat consumption. I’m a little worried that I may end up having more episodes of gout. I’ll have to restart uric acid lowering medication, be more careful about my diet and drink a lot more water.
I think my attitude to food needs to change too. It’s tough though. I’m always thinking about food. When I arrive at work I think about lunch. After lunch, I think about tea. On Thursdays, I think about Friday take away and on Fridays, I ponder what I can buy and cook and eat on the weekend.
So, what do I do? Well, it has to be more vegetables, less red meat and a lot more water.
So less of this
Don’t do this as often
And more of this