I have gout!

If you had asked me a a while back if I had any idea I would end up with gout, I would have laughed at you. In my mind, either really obese or really old people had gout. Ignorant, I know, but that has been my exposure to gout.

A while back I went for an iron infusion. My fatigue had gotten a lot worse and my doctors realised my iron and hemoglobin was incredibly low, hence the iron infusion.  I was told that I might feel like a bit sick afterwards, but overall it should help me feel better. I decided to head back to the office after the drip. Horrible idea. I had a bad migraine and I felt like I needed to throw up. I ended up leaving work early, took two painkillers and slept till the next day. I felt completely fine until the Wednesday evening.

I went out for the evening and by 11PM, I started feeling strange. My legs felt heavy and my calves were on fire. It hurt when I walked and I decided to go home. I woke up the next day with a incredibly swollen and sore foot. According to my limited knowledge of kidney failure at the time, a swollen foot = water retention. So I took two water tablets and thought it would get better. By 6PM, my foot was on fire and I could not walk. I texted my specialist and he said it could possibly be gout and I should see my GP the next morning. Long story short: the GP diagnosed me with gout.

From that day, I started watching what I eat. Gout becomes worse if you eat high purine foods. My gout was initially caused by the overload of iron but since I did not want to go any more medication, I chose to deal with my gout the natural way.  I did not want the gout to get worse or to come back once the gout attack had ended. While dealing with my gout attack, I avoided all forms of meat and poultry. I went completely vegetarian for a week. I cut meat out of my diet completely after that. I still eat chicken once in a while but I avoid meat in general.I eat a lot of veggies and  try to eat non fatty foods as often as possible. I am happy to say that I have not had another gout attack since. My diet is very limited now, which is terrible at times but I honestly would never like to feel that again in my life. I could not drive because I could not clutch control. I ended up having to sell my car and buying an automatic to ensure I had no issues driving to walk. I also had crutches because I couldn’t walk on the foot. This experience wasn’t great and I really would do anything to avoid it. 

Edit: a fellow kidney warrior on Facebook reminded me to add that seafood is quite bad too. I think this is one of the worst limitations for me because I love prawns and crayfish! There are a lot of foods I’m missing but this is my experience. As Iv said previously, always consult your doctors and dietician. We all go through different experiences. 

I found this neat little infographic quite helpful to summarise the foods to avoid when dealing with gout.


5 thoughts on “I have gout!

  1. Hi Amina, sounds like you are coping really well. I’m sharing the link to my friend’s blog – http://this-limbo.blogspot.ie/?m=1
    she’s been on this journey and when I read your posts I remembered living through it vividly. Hopefully it will help to inspire you on the bad days.
    It ends in 2013…not for any bad reason but because she was one year transplanted and she was focused on living, not writing, 5 years on She and her new kidney are going strong.
    All the very very best with managing your illness.


    1. Hi Colleen! Thank you so much for reading my blog and for sharing her link! I look forward to reading about her journey


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