Gout Flare in Elbow

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  d q 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #4585

    Zachary Foose
    Ŧallars: Ŧ -2.53
    GoutPal Carer Badge Rank: Carer


    One year ago I suffered a gout attack in both of my feet. I could not walk. I was teaching english in Thailand and did not have insurance. I went to the hospital and received treatment that subdued the inflammation. I was able to walk out of there within 24 hours. I was never diagnosed with anything because I had no blood work done. I am aware this is a huge mistake & continued on with a lifestyle high in consuming purines and beer (every once and a while on the weekends)

    Fast forward 1 year.
    I hadn’t experienced any gout attacks flare ups other than the occasional discomfort in my left big toe. (could have been the result of joint damage). I arrived in Chiang Mai on June 18th and began what I like to call a cleanse and lifestyle change. I have always been in great shape, until i broke my foot this past February and unfortunately let myself go… So I decided to not drink for a while and to start exercising much more.

    I started consuming high amount of protein. Red meats & fish. I wasn’t consuming as much veggies as I should have. An extremely high purine diet as i look back in hindsight. This was undoubtedly the cause of my flare up. On June26th, I noticed a bump, not right on the joint of my elbow, but three thumbnails below it (radius and ulna). I thought i just bumped it in the gym; however there was no bruise. 2 days go by and the bump doesnt go away. I think nothing of it, never even thought of gout (havent been diagnosed yet) and continue on eating the high purine diet. The night the flare up escalated, I consumed 2 filets of salmon and some chicken livers/hearts. (not surprisingly these are extremely high in purines) The next morning my arm and forearm were swollen to the point where I needed to go to the hospital. Long story short- I was prescribed colchicine , arcoxia , tylenol and clindamycin. Blood work was done as the doctor suspected gout. I had a uric acid level of 11.6 and my white blood cells were extremely high.

    Fortunately, the medication subdued the flare up. Thank you for those who have read this far. This background information is very important to my question that I have now.

    At the original site of the bump (3 thumbnails below the elbow) I still have a little bump. It isnt painful at all but it feels like there is something under/ in my skin. When i pinch the skin, it is not loose like my other elbow.

    What is this?
    If it is uric acid crystals, how can i dissolve them?
    What medication can i take to dissolve the crystals?
    Natural remedies?
    Length of time I can expect until the bump goes away?
    Can i do exercises where the elbow joint is involved?
    Use pain as my tolerance?

    I have already altered my diet. I no longer eat meats or foods high in purines. I drink nearly two gallons of water a day and I am still exercising.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks ahead of time.

  • #4586

    Ŧallars: Ŧ 470.84
    GoutPal Scholar Badge Rank: Scholar


    I can’t tell what caused this bump.
    But I can tell you that having 11.6 mg/dl uric acid is a serious problem and that you ought to see a doctor about that. Excessive uric acid is the main cause of gout, not what you just ate. It would be helpful if you had older test results. If that is your first uric acid blood test, you would ideally do a second blood test and see a rheumatologist afterwards. You’d be able to show your bump to that specialist who may be able to make an educated guess as to what it is or suggest a technologically-assisted examination of the elbow and/or bump.
    But if seeing a specialist quickly would not be possible in your situation, you should at least see a general doctor, show them this bump and ask firmly that they do something about your uric acid without delay (assuming the second test doesn’t come back much lower).
    You’ll likely end up taking a drug called allopurinol because there’s little hope of addressing such a dangerous level of uric acid without strong medication. But it may be worth doing some tests to try to determine what causes this excess of uric acid in the bloodstream because you might possibly benefit from more sophisticated treatment than simply taking allopurinol.

    In the meantime, it’s good that you’re drinking a lot water (but don’t overdo it!). You should ideally also avoid alcohol and make sure you eat lots of vegetables. This won’t be sufficient to solve your uric acid problem but it may help prevent kidney problems.
    Not eating food very high in purines is also prudent but if you’re not used to a vegeatarian diet, take care to avoid nutritional deficiencies (if your body can handle lots of dairy, that’s the easiest way to be safe).
    And as long as you don’t know why exercising your elbow is painful, I think it would be prudent to refrain from doing anything that hurts a lot.

  • #4591

    morgano70 herbs
    Ŧallars: Ŧ -1.40
    GoutPal Carer Badge Rank: Carer

    I have had a gout flare or two in my elbow. I take colchicine for 2 or 3 days. Avoid salted peanuts, corn chips. Just snack on low salt potato chips. Eat lots of vegetables and salads

  • #4597

    d q
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 340.34
    GoutPal Scholar Badge Rank: Scholar

    I am no doctor so it always best you consult a specialist first but from my experience;

    1. It is not gout until it is diagnosed as gout by a qualified rheumatologist. Even then a high uric acid reading is not a ‘confirmation’ it is an ‘indicator’. The only true way to confirm gout is by conducting Joint Fluid Aspiration from the effected joint and checking to see if monosodium urate crystals exist under polarised light or finding a tophus. However; that said, treatment can begin in general to lower uric acid levels in your case as they are very high and that in itself is not healthy for you.

    2. IF they are uric acid crystals then one third of your problem is solved. Diet alone probably wont help in dissolving crystals in your case but it can certainly help in reducing the overall dose of allopurinol (or similar) you may need.

    3. Allopurinol, Febuxostat. Other medicines also exist which work in different ways.

    4. Healthy Diet. The list is exhaustive but increasing intake of vegetables, low fat dairy, cherries and many other foods and techniques. Refer to this as a starting point: http://www.goutpal.com/gout-diet/

    5. How long is a piece of string? This depends on your body and what medications (if any) you decide to take.

    6. Exercise is generally advised. It is imperative to get your doctors advice on how much (or if any) is right first.

    7. I’m not too sure I understand this question, but you will likely feel pain before you feel the gain.

    Two gallons of water a day? That is over 7 litres and even more if you are measuring in Imperial Gallons + your usual food intake. I am no doctor but that definitely seems too much. You should really check your blood sodium levels with your doctor before continuing down that path.

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