I have one kidney. So when I do something to my body that affects the kidney, it is doubly dangerous for me because I don’t have a backup.
About 5 years ago, when I was working in China, I had to take a physical every year. What I didn’t pay attention to was that my UA (Uric Acid) was steadily climbing. If I had paid attention I might have headed off my imminent attacks of gout.
Anyway, 5 years later my right foot started hurting around the big toe and forefoot area. I thought it was due to my shoes being too tight so I resorted to buying bigger shoes and cutting out a circle in the bottom of my shoe liner. That helped for a while. Then I started getting what were gout attacks at night but I didn’t know what it really was.
Last year I moved from the north of China (Harbin) to the south where it is much hotter in the summer. I went for a hike up a mountain to a monastery and got extremely dehydrated. Then I got hit with a big gout attack. I googled and found out what it was and that it was triggered by dehydration. Even though I watched out for dehydration I triggered more attacks by eating the wrong foods. My feet got swollen so bad it finally permanently damaged the nerves in my toes and other areas of my feet.
I never went to the doctor about it though and it is probably good that I didn’t as they would have just treated the symptom and not found the cause. I found the cause the hard way. I didn’t notice it at first but my body was retaining water and my feet were slightly swollen – not so much as to be very noticeable.
Then came a different problem. Actually I had this problem for years – I couldn’t urinate very well. Eventually the problem became so bad that I wasn’t able to urinate at all and ended up in the hospital where they gave me a catheter. Wow, it was so great to pee that I didn’t mind wearing the catheter. I even wrote an ode to my catheter.
The doctors took a lot of tests and x-rays and sonars and determined the cause of my lack of urinating ability – swollen prostate. I had to have a prostate resection.
THE CURE: after the prostate resection operation I noticed my feet were skinny, not swollen at all. We tested my blood over the coming months and the UA eventually came back to normal where it hadn’t been for years.
The swollen prostate had backed up my plumbing so much it was killing my kidney and bladder and even affecting my heart with arrhythmia. My body could not get rid of the Uric Acid as I was retaining water.
So my message to some of you folks out there with gout attacks – stop treating the symptoms with cherry juice and medications and find the cause. If you have problems urinating and your feet are slightly swollen – I would bet prostate functioning is the cause of your gout attacks if it isn’t diabetes.
I now run/walk/bike like crazy and eat what I want (though I do eat better now) and have never had a gout attack since and my UA and creatine levels are normal.
Update February 16,2016: it has been over one year now since my operation and I feel great! I can do what I want, eat what I want (though I have given up caffeine and sugar for good) and do intermittent fasting and biking (I was guaranteed a gout attack if I did my exercise bike). Blood levels are all good and I am only a few weeks from going back to China to teach English.
Update October, 2016: feel great, biking, hiking, do everything I want. Never had a relapse of gout since the operation and blood levels are all normal. Into my second term of teaching here in Shangluo, China. Couldn’t be here without having had that operation.
Also the nerves in my feet are not so sensitive as when I was having gout attacks and have come back almost to normal. One good reason to find a cure for your gout as soon as possible is that each gout attack can do more permanent damage to the nerves of your feet and joints. The longer you let it go, the more damage it does.