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.