This one is to allopurinol takers everywhere.
Why do you put up with such shoddy service?
Every week, I get messages from gout sufferers, and their carers, about problems with allopurinol. Most of these show that absolutely no thought has gone into the treatment.
If you bought a car with only two wheels, would you accept it and drive round in a shower of sparks?
If you called a plumber to fix your leak, would you be happy to pay a weeks wages for him to merely turn the water off?
Would you pay an optician who grabbed the nearest pair of specs and said, “Here, these will do,” without testing your eyes?
Why take allopurinol without checking that it is doing it’s job?
Allopurinol for gout has one purpose – to lower uric acid below 6mg/dL, so that you can rid yourself of uric acid crystals. If you do not get rid of these crystals, they will build up and do one or both of two things:
- Erode cartilage and bone in the joint causing permanent, crippling, damage.
- Develop into tophi that often burst through the skin and get infected, risking life threatening blood poisoning.
If you do not get your uric acid tested regularly, and the dosage adjusted to ensure the level falls below 6mg/dL, you are wasting your time. At best you are delaying the crisis, but this only means that you will have to cope with it later in life, when you are less able to deal with it.
I’m stunned by the latest gout forum post from a caring reader worried about a gouty father. The poor guy has been on allopurinol for a while, but clearly the dosage has been inadequate, and clearly the explanations he has received have been worthless.
Worst of all, the primary health care physician has ruled out consulting a rheumatologist.
So after years of inflicting suffering, the pompous b*st*rd won’t admit his mistakes and turn to the only source of proper gout treatment and advice.
Oh, if I could get my hands on him.
Sensibly, it’s best left to the lawyers, but nowhere near as satisfying as a swift elbow to the nose.
Here in the UK, we had a Dr Shipman, jailed for killing hundreds of his patients. Is giving shoddy medical care, to people who trust you, any worse? Given a choice of quick painless injection, or years of crippling agony, I know which I would chose.
But why can’t we just have proper medical care?
2018 Can Gout Kill You Update
In the comments below we see one tophaceous gout sufferer who died from septicemia when a tophus burst his skin. That is rare. But for more common ways to die of gout, see Can Gout Kill You?