Can you cure your own gout?
You might have to.
If you do not take responsibility, and demand the right long term treatment, you will never cure your gout.
If you do not take action, the chances are nobody else will.
I get many messages from disillusioned gout patients who don’t feel that their gout treatment is working. I’ve just seen an article that suggests that you might have to cure your own gout.
In Patients Learn Chronic Disease Self-Management Online on MedScape, the authors note that:
managing a chronic disease has become a normal part of life. The healthcare system, however, … was designed to focus on acute illness and injury, not long-term conditions.
This is why most gout sufferers get pain relief treatment, but many go without the long-term uric acid lowering treatments that are crucial to curing gout. But it is vital that you get this treatment to avoid crippling joint damage and skin bursting tophi.
The authors conclude:
There is no doubt that patients will need to become good chronic disease self-managers. The healthcare system and individual professionals providing healthcare should increase the focus on ways to offer patients with chronic disease convenient, economical, and high-quality programs to help them attain the best possible therapeutic and quality-of-life goals. For the growing proportion of the population, this vision is becoming a reality through use of the Internet.
Compared with individual visits and group-based programs, the Internet is far less expensive and has the potential to reach many more people. … Online disease self-management can be an effective delivery method for teaching patients the skills and self-confidence they need to take charge of their chronic disease care.
I don’t know what online services your healthcare provider offers, but my online advice to help you cure your own gout starts with:
- See the listing of rheumatologists, go and see one, and make a plan to get your uric acid levels down to 5mg/dL. Then monitor uric acid every few weeks
- Drink about a gallon of fluids daily. Spread throughout the day, so you are drinking more or less constantly. All fluids count, but water is best.
- Consider baking soda (I’m also researching potassium citrate for gout) unless you have high blood pressure. This, and the increased fluid intake, helps avoid kidney stones.
- Lose weight slowly – uric acid can increase from binge eating and starvation.
- Exercise regularly, but gently – uric acid can increase from prolonged exertion.
- Don’t become obsessed with particular foods. Gout sufferers need a healthy balanced diet that includes a wide variety of different food types. Keep meat and fish to about 20% of your diet – balanced with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Painful swelling will occur occasionally until you get rid of all the uric acid crystals in your body. You and your doctor should discuss different pain relief options. You might need to try different medications until you find something that suits you.
Take responsibility, seek a little expert help, and you can cure your own gout.