My name is Spiro Koulouris and I have suffered from gout for just about 15 years. When I was first diagnosed with gout, I couldn’t believe it. Surely, my doctor just made a mistake; so I went to another doctor to get a second opinion.
During that consultation, my worst fears were confirmed: I had gout and I would have to live with it in one way or another for the rest of my life.
My doctor prescribed me Colchicine and Allopurinol to help manage my gout. Colchicine only gave me diarrhea so he advised me to stick only with 200mg of Allopurinol a day.
After visiting many doctors and doing my own research, I realized that drugs weren’t the only answer. Gout can be debilitating but it doesn’t have to be if you make some drastic lifestyle changes.
Why is Gout Bad?
Gout is bad for a number of reasons; it makes simple movement painful because it is a kind of arthritis that typically affects toes and other joints, tends to come back on a recurring basis, and it harms tissues over time.
In combatting gout, I’d need to make some serious dietary and lifestyle choices. Both consequences of the physical pain from gout, and my inability to continue life as I was used to it, was an incredibly tough pill to swallow.
My gout diagnosis encouraged me to take matters into my own hands and do plenty of research and in a moment I will explain exactly what I did first when I was initially diagnosed with gout.
What I Did When I was Diagnosed with Gout
The first thing I did when I began looking at my diet choices was that I started to observe and limit my alcohol intake. I usually had 2 to 4 days of drinking a couple of beers and then some nights just a glass of wine. It wasn’t anything crazy but after my diagnosis, I now rarely drink.
Alcohol is one of the worst triggers for gout. It’s so high in purines, something your doctor tells you to avoid because they cause gout and some American brands contain GMO in them. If I’m at a party and I want a drink, I only have one bottle of organic beer brewed locally with organic ingredients.
Next is fast food. During my first gout attack, I was 50 pounds overweight and loved my Big Macs, fries, and cola. Cola alone has 9 teaspoons of sugar in it. And the sugar that is added in soft drinks called high fructose corn syrup, is known to cause a number of health problems including gout. Fructose causes insulin resistance which in turn causes gout.
If I wanted to make my condition better, I had to give up the bad foods I was used to eating. It was hard at the beginning and my only motivation at first was so I can avoid those painful attacks. I thought I had everything under control but not until I experienced another attack. This was after I stopped taking my pills, and when my wife found out, she went ballistic.
It took a while for me to adjust to the new lifestyle changes but I’ve gotten better at picking the healthier option. I used fear in the beginning to motivate me but now, I genuinely want to take care of myself because I know I’ll enjoy better health and well-being in return. I feel good, my body’s functioning more properly, and I worry less about diseases I might get. Gout is already a bad enough condition. I don’t need to compound it with more health problems.
In Summary; What are Your Gout Triggers?
We all have different triggers to our gout. Your reaction to a trigger food may not be as bad as mine, or vice versa. The fact remains: our diet contributes greatly to our symptoms.
If you can avoid food that triggers your gout while slowly adapting to a healthier lifestyle, do it. It will not only be good for your gout but also for your well-being.
To see more from Spiro Koulouris, visit any of the following links:
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+
Peer Health can connect you with a personalized peer community to share provider recommendations, treatment options, and define your best life. The Peer Health community is coming soon and we want you to be the first to know. Sign up for our newsletter today.
Photo by Jonna Fransa on Unsplash