Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday Feature: Women and Gout

Gout is not fun. In fact it really, really hurts. If you have had an attack you know what I'm talking about. While my foot is much better now, I haven't recovered in my head. I am in fear of a recurrence. This has set me on a quest to better understand the ailment and how I can live with it and try to avoid future attacks.

Since gout is a form of arthritis, that was one of my first virtual stops.

The Arthritis Society has a pretty good website of information. Also a discussion board for specific questions and a small list of suggested books about gout that you can purchase.

Women are in the extreme minority of sufferers of this ailment, so most of the studies have only included men. According to the information available, gout doesn't strike women until they have been in menopause for many years, ie: 20 years later, well wrong in my case and in the few women I have spoken to, all being pre-menopausal. There is a strong genetic factor and I will agree with that. My mother has had several attacks dating back to her 30's but hasn't had any post-menopausal. Having said this, I did read the article at with a couple grains of salt.

I was lucky and my Doctor, a woman, believed me about the pain and my suggestion of gout, and has given me a prescription of meds to keep on hand in the event of a future attack. In fact, she encouraged me to write this blog entry in the hopes that it might help other women. From what I have heard and read, not everyone is so lucky and they spend years in pain searching for answers. I advise joining some sort of gout forum and reading and asking questions. Your are the best advocate for your own health.

What am I doing to keep this under control? I have increased the amount of water I drink and am trying to decrease my caffeine consumption. I don't eat prepared deli meats anymore (nitrates are bad) nor organ meats. I trying to eat meats only one meal a day and have vegetarian meals more often. I take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water each day. There is some controversy over whether this really is helpful, but it doesn't seem to be hurting and besides, I like the taste.

Daily Strength: Gout Support Group

Yahoo Groups: Gout Discussion Group

Are you a woman living with gout? How do you handle it? What helps?

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