I’m really pleased your gout flare has almost gone, Mark.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But, chances are, it will come back.
Worse, as you’ve never had a uric acid test result below 5.
Every sentence of your latest message resonates with me. I have lived your gout life! You are doing many things right. But, you have some fundamentals wrong.
Uric Acid Testing
Uric acid testing is a good thing. But, it is only relevant when you have a safe uric acid target. Then, you can test to target, and adjust your regime accordingly. Before I realized that, I’ve played exactly the same games with uric acid meters. In the right circumstances, they are useful. If you are committed to using one, my best general advice is:
Look for trends and averages with uric acid test results from home meters, rather than specific results. If you are home testing more than once a day, keep separate data for each time slot. Analyze moving average of at least three results. Ignore especially high and low results (or record them separately from your trend analysis).
General advice is one thing, but much more important is specific advice. Interpretation of results often depends on where you are in the symptoms-diagnosis-treatment-symptoms cycle. And, quality of data depends on the consistency of your testing procedure.
Uric Acid Burden
Plant-based diets and hydration are good. But, current diet changes have limited impact on gout attacks. You can’t ignore that. But, more importantly, you cannot ignore the uric acid crystals in your body that have been building up for years. That uric acid burden is what gives you the foundation for a gout attack. While you have that burden, you have a gout risk.
For some reason, I tend to think of fire-fighting analogies for gout, these days. Imagine a buildup of litter in your yard. Passing smokers flicking their butts over your fence keep causing fires. Yes, you can hide by your gate, and shoot the bastards. But, wouldn’t it be better if you cleaned the litter?
Gout Pain Control
When it comes to gout pain, “shooting the bastard” is a very wise strategy. And, you need to get good at this before the overseas trip. Trust me on this one. Those sneaky foreign gout attacks are flicking their butts from directions you never expected.
Or, to break my analogy, and put this a more sensible way. Starting uric acid lowering treatment might cause a gout flare. Continuing unsafe uric acid levels will cause a gout flare. Your uric acid burden is highly likely to show itself in the unfamiliar environment of an overseas work trip.
You need an effective gout pain control plan. That takes the worry from your overseas trip. And, when you chose to start your uric acid control therapy, you can tackle that without worries about gout pain.
In your shoes, Mark, I’d see the doctor to get an invincible gout pain control package that will cover you for your overseas trip. Also, start the preparations for uric acid lowering therapy. Time spent now, means you can be prepared to start uric acid control as soon as you return. See what your doc says. I’d start with a 24-hour urine test. Other recommended preparatory tests depend on ethnicity.
Let us know what your doctor says, Mark. Best in a new topic – we’re moving far away from gout triggers.