My Story

Hi, my name is Brett Thurston. Welcome to my little corner of the internet. You’re probably here because you have discovered the wonder that is gout :). I had it for quite a long time, and finally managed to get rid of it. If you are interested… here’s my story about my experiences with gout. I certainly hope that you don’t have to go through the same amount of pain and frustration as I did.

I have had a very difficult time with gout pain, and for much of that time I didn’t even realise that I had gout at all.

My chronic gout symptoms went undiagnosed for more than two years, even though I had previously had been diagnosed with acute gout attacks! It was this experience that has led me to set up this website in the hope that you don’t end up going through the same thing. Cure gout pain before it becomes a major problem

My story on how gout has affected me is below. If you’ve had any sort of unexplained joint pain then I encourage you to read it, in case you may also be having the same problems. Alternatively if you are interested in finding out more about gout pain, symptoms and treatment then there’s a ton of information to be found elsewhere on this site.

My story

I had my first gout attack several years ago. It completely followed what I now know to be the normal pattern for gout symptoms.

  • It kicked in overnight.

I went to bed feeling fine, but by about 2am I knew something was up as my foot had started throbbing. I thought that I must have done something during my martial arts class the night before, as I could not think of anything else it might have been.

  • It affected the big toe joint on my right foot.

There was significant redness and swelling around the toe joint. And it was incredibly tender to touch. As the night progressed the pain got worse and the whole area started throbbing.

  • The pain was indescribably bad.

My foot was screaming in agony, and was triggered by even the slightest touch or movement. Even the touch of a bedsheet was too much! Gout pain is the most incredible pain I’ve experienced.

So when I finally got up I got dressed for work as usual, but a lot more slowly than I normally would. Having not experienced gout before, and still thinking that perhaps I’d damaged my foot while breaking boards with kicks, I made an appointment to see a physiotherapist. Now I’ve since learned that this particular physiotherapist is widely considered to be very dodgy! She must have known that I was having a gout attack, but she treated me as if it was a normal injury. This of course included touching my foot! Oh the pain!

Anyway, the pain stayed with me all day but started to subside by night-time. And when I woke up on day 2, the pain was completely gone. My physiotherapist was a miracle-worker. (Well so I thought).

Over the next few months I had occasional problems with the same thing. I just put it down to the original “injury”, and didn’t bother with any treatment apart from the normal stuff I would do for a soft tissue injury. In fact this turned out to be much the same as you do treat acute gout, so my thought that this was some sort of weird ongoing injury was somewhat confirmed by the fact that the standard treatments for injury were the same as the treatments for gout pain. I even went back to the dodgy physiotherapist for more treatment!

I finally worked out that I had gout!

When the overnight onset of a painful big toe joint started happening more frequently I realised that I had something other than an injured toe. I happened to mention it to my boss, who was a nurse. She immediately suggested it was gout and sent me off to the doctor.  That’s how I found out that I had gout… My boss told me!

Anyway the doctor agreed that it was gout and prescribed me NSAIDs (which I really hate taking because of the potential side-effects from the damage they do to your stomach lining).

Fast forward a couple of years… The gout had gone – or so I thought

So time passed, and for some reason the gout attacks in my big toe subsided. I had however been experiencing pain in my ankles. This started out as a sort of tightening of the ankle joint – I noticed that I had way less flexibility in the joints.

And on some days the pain would suddenly spike and I would not be able to put any weight on the affected ankle.

Two and a half years of misdiagnosis

I had a bit of a surf on the internet and found that gout could affect other joints beside the big toe, and this pain seemed to be similar. So I headed off to the doctor again and told him I had gout. He didn’t believe me, prescribed me NSAIDs again (which I did take out of desperation this time), and told me it was a soft tissue injury.

But the pain kept going away and coming back. This was no soft tissue injury and I knew it. However the doctor was unconvinced and sent me off to an orthopaedic specialist. The specialist ordered ultrasound scans, gave me cortisone injections, and even got me to have an MRI scan. (We’re now talking big dollars!). In the end he gave up and decided that the problem was that I needed orthotics in my shoes. So now I’d gone from the doctor to the orthopaedic specialist to the podiatrist, and now had orthotics in my shoes. Finally I had found the answer.

All of the above took two and a half years!

Try walking when both ankles are in agony

So did the orthotics make the problem go away? No!

In fact it got worse and the other ankle started playing up too. Luckily it was only one ankle at a time – for a while. But of course this wasn’t an orthotic problem, and eventually both ankles were so bad that I would go for days without even being able to walk a single step without excrutiating pain. My boss even joked about getting me a wheelchair.

The worst thing of all… my young child, who was just learning to walk, had actually developed two different walks. One was a perfectly normal walk, and the other one my wife jokingly called “The Daddy Walk”.

Of course my darling son was limping around the house, just like Daddy.

Enough is enough – especially since now my elbows were hurting as well.

The final straw for me was when my elbows started hurting too. I could hardly walk, and now I was starting to have trouble bending my arms. This time I just knew it was gout pain – it was the same as my gout in my big toes, but this time it was in my elbows.

Back to the doctor I went. This time I finally convinced him that I had gout. The red, swollen, throbbing, painful elbow probably helped him make that diagnosis!

So what was his solution to my problem?  Yep you guessed it. More NSAIDs, and this time he even suggested taking Allopurinol.

What the medical establishment did for me

A recap – here’s how the medical establishment helped me out…

1)      A physiotherapist was quite happy to string me along in believing that I had a musculo-skeletal problem that needed physiotherapy

2)      A doctor eventually told me I had gout, and prescribed me NSAIDs – which have some pretty serious side effects

3)      When the pain shifted to my ankles my doctor did not diagnose it as gout

4)      He referred me to an orthopaedic specialist who ordered a barrage of expensive tests, and performed an invasive technique to put more drugs into my system

5)      He eventually gave up and referred me to a podiatrist, who gave me orthotics

6)      And when the gout appeared in yet another joint, I finally convinced the doctor that I had gout. He prescribed more stomach-lining-eating drugs!

Medical people are trained to treat you in a particular way. They don’t know any different.

The physiotherapist gave me physiotherapy. The doctor prescribed drugs. The orthopaedic specialist performed expensive tests and invasive techniques. And the podiatrist gave me orthotics.

And none of them told me to watch what I was eating, nor to eat certain foods that would help prevent further gout attacks. They could only give me medical advice and treatment.

My non-medical advice – Go natural!

Now, let me make it clear that I am not a doctor. So I’m not going to give you medical advice. All I can say is that just like a builder will use a hammer and a painter will use a paintbrush, a doctor will use drugs. It’s their tool of choice.

But there are options. Much research has been done into how to prevent and perhaps even cure gout through natural means. This includes changing your diet to reduce harmful foods and increase beneficial foods, as well as making other changes to your lifestyle.

All the best with your gout. I sincerely hope you don’t go through what I did!

Comments

  1. Hi, I just read your story and wanted to let you know that it was awful what you went through. I too have just learned I have gout, but I am also having problems with my doctor.

    I was just curious with how you are handling your pain now and what lifestyle changes you have made that may have helped.

    Warm Regards,

    Bobby

  2. Hi Bobby

    Sorry to hear that you have gout. I am now 100% gout free and have been for some time now.

    The biggest lifestyle change I made was to cut out alcohol completely. I have not had alcohol for over two years. I have not had gout for just about as long.

    I’ve also drastically changed my diet. And I’ve lost nearly 50lbs.

    It’s a pretty simple formula really!

    Brett

  3. ISIDRO LUGO says:

    I have had gout for about 30 years. The main medicines I take are colchicine and indocin. I Would like to try something new like Uloric. Any suggestions.

  4. Hi Brett and Bobby,

    Sorry to learn of your predicament. I do hope that you are better now. Yes, I too am suffering from GOUT. Thanks to my Rotarian friend, a doctor, got my blood tested for uric acid that resulted in early diagnosis. While I am on medication, the pain at times – especially during night times – is unbearable. Food intake even while on medication seemed to aggravate the problem. Now, jointly, can we all suggest a food intake pattern so that it can help fellow human beings – with specific YES and NO.

    For example, definite NO to alcoholic drinks, non-vegetarian food (probably except mutton – I need to check), beans, beet-root, tomato, pulses, yogurt, cheese, pastries.

    YES to rice, wheat, carrot, cauliflower, radish, potato, brinjal, ladies finger, spinach and other green vegetables.

    I request you advise me if I have missed out on any.

    Thanks guys, God bless one and all.

    Prasad. VN.

  5. Dr. Gout- homeopathically try celery root, black cherry juice, exercise and tons of water. I used to be able to address it with bike rides, as the pivoting foot increased the circulation to my foot. indocin is what the doctor has given me, It has been effective in extreme flare ups. i would just rather treat it myself via diet etc. . Running was always a no no for me as a remedy helper. The advice that Brett speaks of above is spot on. say good bye to beer, red meat, shell fish and red wine. If i have a flare up, it’s because my diet is off, i’ve been drinking or i have not been exercising. I know when the doctor G is preparing for a strike and immediately address…….or else.

  6. Thanks Steve for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences here, and reinforcing the message! We need to rid the planet of the scourge of gout. While that might sound a bit silly… what I am worried about is that gout is just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s more of an indicator of a general problem with our diets and attitude to food, exercise and general wellbeing.

    I was particularly interested in your comment on cycling. I too found that I could cycle with gout… but uphill was a bit of a battle sometimes.

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