Saying "Cheerio" to my Royally F*cked Foot Problem!
As many of my friends know, I've been having a recurring problem with my left foot for the past year or so... It occassionally flares up, in the location of my big toe, being swollen, red and quite painful, making it very uncomfortable to even put a shoe on, let alone run around a kick a soccer ball.
I'd been more or less putting up with it, figuring it was just related to a little too much physical activity, or maybe a bad knock or something.
Today, after having played indoor soccer last night, and despite icing my foot last night, waking up with it as painful as ever, I headed to the local walk-in clinic.
After a 30 second explanation of my symptoms, and a 10 second look at my foot, the Dr. quite confidently diagnosed.... GOUT!. Gout! oh my god! That sounds bad, I'm I looking at amputation or what? I'll admit, as of this morning, I knew nothing of gout, other than it sounds really bad, and not something you'd want to have...
The Dr. gave me a prescription for some anti-inflammatory pills, suggested that I take 3 doses today with food and, if it is gout, then by tomorrow I should be fine.
As soon as I got home, I looked it up on MayoClinic.com
, and learned more about it. Basically it's caused by increased levels of Uric acid in the blood, which is caused either by consuming food/beverages - including red meats, and beer, which contain a high level of purines, which are converted to uric acid, or by your system being slow to eliminate them from your system. Interesting bit of trivia, historically
this problem was referred to as the 'disease of kings', because these were the only people wealthy enough to have so much beer and red meat that it caused this problem... Funny...
Anyhow, I've now taken my 3 anti-inflammatory pills and already there's a marked difference. My foot is feeling much better, the swelling has gone down, and I'm really happy that I know what was causing the problem and how to fix it.
It's a bit of a bummer that beer is high in purines, I really don't want to have to give up beer, I guess I'll just have to watch it, try to keep as hydrated as possible, potentially take some other precautions to avoid further flare-ups, but this should mean that I can now start hitting the treadmill and gym and not worry that it's physical activity that is CAUSING the problem.