April 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm #3232
Hi, I'm a newcomer and this is my first comment.
I'm a borderline gout sufferer who likes beer.
My last blood test (another coming up on May 19) showed a UA of 7.9, down from 8.1, down from 8.5). I like the downward trend, but I also like beer. My doctor wants me to get it down to around 6.
Luckily, I live in Japan where breweries have perfected at least two brands with reduced purines — one Kirin (99% reduction) and Asahi (85% purines & 70% sugar cuts). The former had an alcoholic content of 5.5; the latter is just 3.5-4.5%.
I don't drink a lot; just 2-3 12-oz. cans in the evening, but I don't want to give up that little enjoyment in my life. Don't know whether this new type of beer is working yet, but I found the former to be well-nigh tasteless, while the latter has a nice bitter taste, so I'm going along with the Asahi, which means less alcohol.
My near-gout occasionally gives me twinges and tingles, so I'm close. Despite going on long walks until a couple of months ago, my legs (feet) had never given me any problem, but after that last long walk, I felt pain in my right knee, which seemed to suggest a thinning out of my cartilage. I've been on semi-long walks since with little problem. The twinges seem as though they're about to grow in intensity, then suddenly subside, but they give me a scare, and I know I must do something about it. I do not have any swelling of any big toe, or any redness, though both feet are quite swollen through spending too much time at my PC.
I'm hoping to get a uric acid tester so that I can monitor my UA closely and try to determine which foods are good or bad. I also intend to stop drinking beer for two weeks before my next blood test to see whether it's the beer or the alcohol or both or whatever.
Does anyone have any recommedations at to which is the best tester?
Beer and Gout Update
I’m reviewing all my beer and gout articles. So, are you are interested in more information about beer for gout sufferers? Then please share your questions, opinions, and experiences at Beer and Gout review.April 12, 2010 at 4:10 am #8231
Hi Nick- You don't give your age but you know the links- If you want to use diet to stay clear of gout you know both non veg purines and beer are No-Nos and the local beer sounds like a great compromise for the occasional misdemeanor !! 😉
The UA meter will help in this, but bear in mind that short term fluctuations are normal and you will need a lot of testing to tie in single issue diet effects. You may get fed up with stabbing your digits and the test strips are not cheap -and also expire fairly quickly!
The' Kernel' meter is OK- & supply abroad- but currently are due to replace mine, due to the on board clock being slightly fast.
You know that your lack of exercise will affect your future health, inc. gout attack levels.
Let us know results of the beer trial – but it will take some weeks/ months to show!
*** Either way keep water intake high from now on.April 13, 2010 at 8:26 pm #8259
Thanks, Tophi Terror;
I'm from the UK, too, and we do like our beer, but if real gout pain is as bad as many say, then I'll have no other choice than to give it up. Pity! I'm 83 going on 38.
Also, I'm trying a little bit of baking soda therapy, so that might help.
I don't have full-blown gout, but I feel those occasional twinges are a warning, and prevention is certainly better than cure!
It's quite possible that my knee problem also could be the onset of gout.
Give me a few weeks/months trial, and I'll let you know the results. I'll check out the Kernel meter.
NickApril 24, 2010 at 9:51 pm #8400
Me again! I've decided not to get the Kernel tester. My next blood test is for May 19, and I've already arranged for a test every three months, so that should be enough.
What happened was this. I tried the sodium bicarbonate therapy for 10 days (usually 1/2 tsp of SB twice a day), and the twinges are all but gone — just an occasional tingling — so I stopped taking it. If the twinges return, I'll be back on SB immediately!
The SB was accompanied by at least two liters of water throughout the day, and it seems to work, so thanx for the tip about water.
I've since read up on it, and evidently for some, a bigger intake of water is all they need.
Though I've stopped the SB, at least for now, I'm going to continue with the water. It seems to be the answer. Thanx again!
Cheers, NickApril 24, 2010 at 11:53 pm #8401
Nick- it's good to see a quick turn around in your symptoms.
It's said an ounce of foresight is worth a ton of care (somewhere read, or similar).
I hope that with your regular monitoring and awareness of impending twinges you can stay ahead of gout.
I would like to have tried S.Bi myself, as I think it's a short cut solution to alkalizing the body [if not exactly ideal]- but as I suffer from hard to treat Hi B.P. – I didn't like to risk the sodium intake accorded by this route.
Your success will not allow much testing of your 'Lo Purine' beer strategy, if you are already keeping clear of symptoms for the forseeable future, though. That's a good problem, indeed!April 25, 2010 at 9:59 am #8404GoutgalParticipant
Even though I'm a novice, I've found that water is quite a benefit. It makes sense, flushing the system, and it also prevents me from overeating. My weight is dropping steadily, 1-2 lbs./week and today I noticed my long, slender, normal looking feet. What beauts they are, compared to what they were – red, swollen, bulging and I could almost see them throbbing –July 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm #9391
I've appreciate the advice from this forum, so I thought I'd reciprocate by letting others know about my own situation.
I cannot guarantee that my method will work for everyone, but water seems to work for me. So far, I have never taken any gout medication.
Last UA blood test (May 19) saw my level go down from 7.9 to 7.6. I expressed disappointment at such a small drop, but my doctor said it's better to go down in small increments than large ones, which could trigger an attack.
Luckily, I've only had twinges and some tingling, also an occasional burning sensation in my toes, but it's never been worse than that. I've now been drinking tons of water every day (thanks, Trev, for that tip) and here's my report on it:
I usually drink at least 8 half-pints a day, sometimes more, once as many as 14, but I try to make it at least 8. I used to have kidney stones — many, and almost every day. They were quite small, easy to pass, and never gave me any problem, but kidney stones are kidney stones so something was not right. Since drinking all that water every day, the kidney stones are gone; haven't had one since about one month into the water therapy.
I still drink an occasional beer (85% purine-free), never more than one small 12 oz. can, about twice a week.
Twinges and tingling and burning sensation are all but gone; then just as I congratulate myself that they've gone forever, a slight twinge occurs that brings me back to reality. Gout for me, once you've had it or experienced symptoms as in my case, never seems to go away 100%; it seems to hang around in the background. Just when you think it's gone for good, along comes a twinge as a warning.
I used to take two half-tsp of baking soda twice a day, then cut back to one tsp. of baking soda every 7 or 10 days, but I have found that one tsp. can loosen one's bowels and give one the runs, up to 3 or 4 times a day. so I'm cutting back to one-half tsp following the next twinge.
I am now going on longer walks (three miles) every day; I walk fast for my age (83) and it takes me about 50 minutes. I have lost 12 lbs since January, another 15 to go. BMI is 27.8. Meat intake has been cut 2/3rds; generally, I eat two main meals a day. Breakfast after my early morning walk, small snack early afternoon, then 2nd main meal around 6 p.m. Portions for my two main meals have been drastically cut. I have read that people really overweight should spread out their intake into six smaller meals per day. Our tummy acid can only cope with so much; the remainder turns to fat.
The main ingredient for success in all this is WILL POWER, a commodity in short supply as far as I'm concerned. Oddly enough, giving up my 3 or 4 cans of beer every evening was not as tough as I thought it would be. But, then, gout pain is a very strong persuader.
My daughter works in the lab at a large hospital, and one guy there, about 55 years of age, had severe gout, she told me, and was beyond “repair.” It was so bad, she said, that he was literally crippled, only able to limp across the floor; other days he simply phoned in “sick,” and this guy WORKED IN A HOSPITAL! I was very impressed.
That's one of the reasons why I have tried to stay on a strict regimen: plenty of salads, veggies, especially bananas, blueberries, pineapple, soy milk, yogurt. Gout cannot be ignored. It won't go away on its own, and will inevitably get worse. I HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Am I scared? Yes, I am! Gout can be controlled, but only if you treat it seriously!
Thought I'd share this story with everyone.July 26, 2010 at 8:33 am #9396
I used to have kidney stones — many, and almost every day.
Have you ever had those kidney stones tested…are they urate?
Am I scared? Yes, I am! Gout can be controlled, but only if you treat it seriously!
Have you considered drug therapy?July 27, 2010 at 4:10 am #9411
This post was just getting buried and I dug back for it.
Yes Nick, you're a lot like me on your symptoms and approach to Gout, though a longer time at it. More reason to be glad of success now- but bear in mind over that long time you will have urates buried around your body so be wary of celebrating too early.
A good thing to keep the Bi Carb down- I think 1/2 tsp max. daily is recommended for over 65s- though I daren't risk it at all with my BP.
I agree will power [and patience] are factors that come in life management a lot and hopefully you can keep the AlloP in the back locker for a long while yet
Water lack is not recognized as we get older- I've often thought about this and read it up. I think death from poisoned sources was a bigger risk than gout in those really VERY early days- so the body learned to trim out the risk and gout is a part result for us unlucky ones.
PS: Our survival from other illnesses would be better, though!
Cheers & a FEW beersAugust 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm #9540
Me again! Just thought I'd keep you up-to-date.
I attend a large hospital and my blood test results (now taken once every two or three months) are almost immediately available on their computer system. I went there just two days ago (Aug. 4) and had the shock of my life. The last three UA results showed 8.1, 7.9, and 7.6. Since then I've cut out beer just about 95% (hadn't touched the stuff for 8 days), Ive lost 8 lbs. in the last 50 days (I've now increased my almost daily walks to nearly 3 miles), I've drunk plenty of water (2-3 liters a day) that has eliminated ALL my kidney stones, and I've adhered to a fairly strict diet.
First thing I said to my doctor was: “What's my UA reading?”
“It's a little high,” he said.
“High? I can't believe that (thinking of all my intense efforts)! What is it?”
“8.6,” he said.
I was flabbergasted! I didn't know what to say, and I'm sure my reaction puzzled him.
To make a long story short, he has prescribed Zyloric (100 mg.) to be taken every morning. Zyloric (according to the Internet) contains allopurinol and is made by GlaxoSmithKline.
So it appears that while I thought I was just “suffering” from mild symptoms (just an occasional twinge and a little tingling; no redness or swollen joints), which never gave me any real pain, gout was just waiting to pounce when I least expected it. I have joined the club!
To zip2play, I can't remember when I first had kidney stones. They never gave me any problems so I virtually ignored them. I do remember that they were like orange sand particles, which I sometimes discharged in scores. I recall looking at some photos of kidney stones on the internet to identify them and the nearest comparison were uric acid dihydrates. I never had them analyzed because they never bothered me.
Then something strange happened, possibly when I switched from ordinary beer to 99% purine-free beer. My kidney stones changed to 100% spherical in shape, with a salmon pink colour, though later the colour changed to off-white if I drank a lot of water.
Later, when on serious water therapy, they disappeared altogether.
With my uric acid reading of 8.6, I suggested to my doctor that I stop drinking so much water, but he urged me to continue with it, which I am doing.
Gout is a pain!!!!!!August 6, 2010 at 5:32 am #9543
Nick- You are getting on top of this slowly!
Don't take too much notice of number changes. Food intake during the day and your metabloism will affect your SUA readings by more than 0.3 easily. I can't give numbers as it was lost in all the ups and downs [we find with this illness].
Also, your level would fall if heading into an attack of some sort, too.
Thus, at 8+ I can see why , with all your earlier efforts your Dr went for the meds- there's only so much one can do and you have kidney issues, too. Thus a slow approach with these meds is in order. Zip is very good on kidney stuff and will probably comment later…
Certainly you are lucky to escape a 'hard' attack as from histories here and my own experience , the body remembers 'the enemy'- and each one can get worse till you really do feel like 'getting out the shotgun' !August 6, 2010 at 9:38 am #9548
Got a big smile out of the brand name, Zyloric (half way betweeen the first patented allopurinol called Zyloprim, and the new kid on the block, febuxostat, patened as Uloric. SO Zyloric covers all basis. But it is just allopurinol at a high price…buy the generic instead and save yourself or your insurance coompany some money. For comparison's sake, 90 days of 300 mg. per day generic allopurinol costs me $10 retail (without involving the insurance company.)
That said, I think 100 mg./day is far too low a dosage ESPECIALLY for someone who is expelling urinary gravel. Almost everyone on allopurinol takes 300 mg. as the “forever” dose. Since you run uric acid levels in the eights, I think is is especially important for you to increase your dosage. It seems those starting on lower doses get more aggravation with recurrent atttacks than those who dive right into the 300 mg. dose.
If I were you, I'd have a kidney ultrasound or MRI to check for large stones. Better break them up before a big stone starts to migrate down a small ureter. I have heard that even GOUT pain isn't that bad. Continue the water, and analyze the stones becasue if they ARE urate, you might want to alkalyze your urine.August 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm #9551toofastParticipant
Ok, not to change this thread completely…
But does anyone have any idea how Kirin can be purine free?
Look at the ingredients ? Same as every other beer?
What makes Kirin Ichiban great
Prominent wort. Finest barley malt, premium hops, smooth finish, no bitter aftertaste.October 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm #10205
This is my latest report, which hopefully will be of help to others.
After my Aug. 4 blood test, which saw my UA go up to 8.6, following which I was prescribed Zyloric 100 mg, my latest test (Sept. 29)shows a drop to 7.2. So far, so good. However, I still have occasional twinges and some tingling, and an occasional “burning sensation” in various places in both feet. These symptoms never last more than a few seconds, and are not painful per se, but…..! Then, a urine test of my pH factor showed 5.5, which is too acidic, so I need to get into the alkaline zone 7.3. If it's not one thing, it's another! The rest of my blood test, which covered 30 items, was near perfect.
One thing I've learned the hard way: No matter what symptoms of whatever ailment we suffer from, they all seem to come upon us suddenly from nowhere, and then take their own sweet time to depart, if ever, especially when you grow older.
To zip2, regarding pricing, I'm a member of a pretty good medical insurance system that only charges me 10% of total cost, whether for treatment, medication or hospitalization. My local pharmacy where I take my prescriptions offered me the opportunity to buy generic medications a few months ago, to which I agreed, so my cost now is even lower than before. Zyloric, for example, has been replaced with Allozym at reduced cost.
Don't know how they cut out the purines in beer, but they've been able to cut out caffeine from coffee and various sugars in a variety of products. All commodities are determined by market forces, so I guess they reckoned there were enough beer drinkers among gout sufferers who enjoyed an occasional tipple, hence they took the gamble and engaged in some R&D. I still enjoy an occasional beer, but never more than one 12 fl. oz can a day, and never more than 2 or 3 a week, and I always follow the beer with a glass of water.
I've learned a lot from this forum and wish to thank everyone for their advice and input. Take care! CHEERS!October 4, 2010 at 7:50 am #10210
Go to 300 mg. allopurinol.
With UA's of 7.2 I don't want to have to say “I told you so” when you have a major attack with pain you have probably never experienced before. Thing is that for some of us, the only way to be convinced of the severity of gout is to go through a baptism of fire, we are all human. That's what it took for me and I wouldn't wish it on almost anybody (Bush and Cheney possible exceptions .) A gout attack that last weeks and causes COLOSSAL pain is truly awful and a good recipe to guarantee it is 100 mg. allopurinol resulting in a UA of 7.2. If you are going to take alllopurinol take the correct dose and that is the dose to give you low serum urate numbers. (In my heart of hearts, I believe that too low a dose of allopurinol is worse than none at all…but I cannot prove it.)
The upside of 300 mg./day allopurinol is that you can drink 3 bottles of REAL beer every night without a second thought…except the well-known waistline effect.
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