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Mark, I stumbled on something this weekend that helped me immensely. Ask a Dr first if you’re on other meds of course, but I am off uloric and took Magnesium as I read that it can hurt your fingertips if you are deficient.
Nearly all of my pain went away this weekend. Now, uloric for a few weeks may have helped, but Mg citrate powder (500mg) ultimately took away the broken glass feeling as well as the sharp pain in the very tips of my fingers.
Wow – thanks for adding that – we have a lot in common with symptoms. I don’t have anything in my elbows or knees (yet) but am 45 and also did plenty of alcohol (especially beer 😉 and have completely given that up and strictly vegetarian diet as well. I’ve lost 30 lbs from 170 so my wife is a bit worried as I look gaunt already, but I feel ok other than the PAIN. Seeing Rheum on Friday so will report back. I suspect they’re going to tell me it’s not gout, like the last few docs…at this point I WANT very badly for it to be gout, as that will mean it’s not Rheumatoid arthritis.
BTW, I don’t know if you saw my other thread about saturnine gout, but there are some studies that say elevated lead levels cause gout. I was exposed to a lot of lead in the last 6 months and my blood is at least 6 ug/dL if not higher. The studies say even levels of 1.2 can cause gout. “Normal” range is a whopping 25, go figure. Mabye that’s the point at which you switch from alive to dead.
Anyway, you may want to get that checked too as our symptoms are very similar. Best wishes!
Keith will either love or hate me for this post 😉
I’ve discovered aside from having a genetic disposal to RA, there is a possibility that lead exposure brought my pain out and I may have what is called “saturnine gout”. Anyone heard of it? I’ll go search but wanted to put it here for others – there are studies that show elevated levels of lead (not even close to the top of “normal range” indicated on bloodwork) can trigger gout! Hopefully more soon on this. Another rheum doc to see Friday…
I’ve shown positive for RA in the 14-3-3 eta protein test (which I believe everyone suspecting RA should do if they haven’t, as the RF test gives false negatives) . This makes the gout possibility even tougher as it could be both. Who knows. I’ll keep seeing more docs I guess, until we figure it out. The difference they keep saying is gout doesn’t move around as much, but you guys all say it sure does! And mine definitely is. Right now all of my fingertips hurt and last night it was my feet – toes, arches etc. I’ve been off the gout meds and went from uric acid 4 – 6 in about 2 weeks, even on a strict diet…
PS Starting on uloric as a preventative today, as allopurinol failed me. I guess once you get the uric acid level down for a while, then if there’s still pain moving around it’s RA?
Irma, just my opinion, but I’m not sure those whiskeys are actually helping you…even if they don’t cause gout, they are causing dehydration right before (or while) you sleep for hours & hours…and I am blaming that exact factor for what happened to me. I started drinking whiskey to help me sleep back in March, just 1-2 oz per night, but wasn’t drinking enough water. Everything hit for me in June.
No problems even with plenty of regular beer consumption until then.
Just letting you know my experience, not telling you what to do 🙂 & of course at the moment I’m not even 100% sure it’s gout (thanks probably to poor docs), although my kind friends here on the forum know it is, by my symptoms!
Thanks Keith! I’m basically following your diet guidelines and have read a lot here, plenty of veggies in variety, lots of fruit & nuts as well – everything pretty much fresh, no sugar, lots of low fat dairy and never HFCS (or even just CS). I’m looking at it as if it were the paleo diet, in general, and I like those food types. Fortunately this summer was a great time to do that while prices went down, it may get harder in the winter. My uric acid was last at 4.4 and I feel good this week so far! The longer I’m at work the more it seems to hurt (Friday’s are always worst) So I blame my work for gout 😉 haha.
I also just picked up some supplement pills from amazon but looked for what to get here and didn’t see it. Is there a page I’m missing that details the best supplements? It’d be cool if we could click a link here to order and they gave you some kickbacks for the sales. Also thinking of getting home uric acid test kits. Thanks as always!
I’m still here! 😉
I hope you are right Keith, and I trust you are, so I am continuing a good gout diet. But I’m a bit shy of the meds right now with the scope of the rash I’m still dealing with..I wish they’d given me a med for THAT right now.
Anyway, it’s called sheetrock, and you’re correct! So I will continue to be careful. The nice thing is, though I can feel the “leaks” happening when I eat poorly now, I think – not totally sure but we had one more portion of crab in the freezer, my wife ate most but I had a little, and 2 days later (seems to be my timing on this) I felt some more pain. So, I’m definitely back on the right diet, but I’m not sure about meds yet. I wasn’t careful at *all* before now so I feel like I should be able to control it.
As I may have said before, I hope to God this is gout because the alternatives sound worse (R.A., neuropathy) both which may cause lifelong pain and without solutions like proper eating. I do have a brother and an uncle with R.A. so part of me still thinks that remains a possibility, as the glycemic index affects how you feel with that disease as well.
I have very similar traits to you but am male.
I would test my uric acid daily if I could, but I think that’s overkill as this all moves very slowly…look at it like moving to a different house or something. It’s a big project!
I’m off allopurinol for the first time today due to some adverse effects and although I have slight pain back, I feel much better and no more side effects, so I guess it did its job. It could be much worse, as you know.
Diagnosis always seems to take months.
I’m not familiar with Celebrex but it sounds like you’re on the right track!
Guys, thanks – @ Patrick, it’s 2 different docs (actually 3). My primary diagnosed gout at uric acid level 6.4 based on that and my symptoms of pain (7.1 was last year and no probs). My best friend who’s a doc then said that was ridiculous as I don’t have the right symptoms, and then the rheum doc said there is no such thing as pre-gout. I figure there is, because there is always a point at which you are close to having gout but don’t know it.
My uric acid is at 4.4 on the latest tests (last week) but I still have significant pain in fingertips/toes, but it moves around to all of them, it does not stay in one place like it should.
The B12 test should be out today. I have to wait a month for my EMG (nerve test on fingers) to know more. Sorry to add to any confusion!
Thanks Keith, please see my latest post in a new thread. I don’t fit into a group because I thought I had gout and have now been told by two docs that I don’t. I’m not the waffler, it’s them! 😉 Honestly I don’t see what else it could be, but they say it could be b12 or nerve damage. Do you think that’s possible with your knowledge? My pain is in the fingertips/toes, not joints. I definitely “feel” things moving around once I take the allopurinol. One doc, my best friend who visited from out of town, claimed I exhibit zero of the signs so doesn’t understand why my normal doc diagnosed it as that (other than I told him I thought I had it.
They have me down for being allergic to allopurinol now because of the huge rash it caused, so I don’t know if I’d even be able to take it again if I wanted to.
Ugh, ok thanks Keith. I read some bad, scary stuff on the rashes and figured if I just control the diet I will continue to heal, although maybe slowly. The weightlifting I’ve done plenty in the past but didn’t realize it could have an effect. Oops. Time to do some more reading 😉
I’ll try to do the diary, I looked at it several times, but again it’s hard to decipher what to do and I’m still not sure which group I’m in! As I never had tophi etc it doesn’t seem as bad as it could be.
I’m totally fine with the adverstise-based income, you can’t get mad at some one providing a service like this without some kickbacks, I just figured you could potentially be getting more from one-on-one help. I wouldn’t blame anyone for making a career out of this, I just wasn’t in enough pain to fork out lots of money – I’m sure some would be though! Do you get paid when we click the links or buy products on amazon? If so, I should do that sometimes 😉 I’m interested in in the uric acid test kits but didn’t know what to get.
Hi Carolyn, congrats, glad to hear this and remember (I think I read this here) it’s always good to give blood as it removes some of the acid!
I stopped allopurinol as the rash was bothering me and the doc advised stopping because my level was 4.9. The rash was very similar to some others who have posted here in that it was a thin horizontal line right along the belt line and expanded to a few other round patches nearby. I think I can adequately control it with diet now that I’ve disciplined myself 😉 I have had the pain in fingers/toes since stopping 2.5 days ago but it’s manageable enough with ibuprofen and cherry juice.
Anyone else notice that “acid” feel in your urine after cherry juice? Holy cow. I hope that is the uric acid I feel coming out and not the feel of the (basic?) cherry juice. Has anyone ever had too much of that stuff? I drink the syrup but there’s never a dosage mentioned so I do 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the 32 oz bottle that says “juice from 2,000 cherries”.
Also, I’ve been lifting a lot of weights in an attempt to use up some protein by building muscle, who knows if it helps but at least it gets me moving. I’d like to run but I think my feet would hurt too much afterwards.
Keith, thanks again for all your attention, you are obviously a great guy, I doubted the site at first thinking someone was at it to turn a profit, and I sincerely apologize for that!! It was the untrusting westerner in me I suppose 🙁
Nothing urgent here so don’t feel obligated to keep writing, there are many others to get out of pain and I read all the posts so will continue trying to help when I feel qualified…
Thank you once again, Keith! That is a fabulous explanation that will be helpful to a lot of people.
I don’t think we have any “good” docs in my little town, I’ve been through a number and they’re all generalists who refer you out – which is fine, except there’s no gout specialist.
But my current doc thinks it’s odd that I’m still having pain and it doesn’t feel like joints, it is in the pads/soft tissues of my fingers & toes. I believe I’ve seen on here you can feel it in your bloodstream and not just around your joints, but not sure how that works. Anyway, I’m seeing a Rheum doc next week so that should maybe help. It took my brother 3 years to figure out his problem was RA so although this doesn’t feel like RA, I have to rule it out. If it’s gout I would think it’d be gone very soon as I’ve been at 4.9 for a few days shy of a month and it hurts more now than it did back when I first started having pain.
PS for anyone reading, I didn’t link this, but I have a long rash 6″ near my hip that isn’t getting better (probably worse) that just magically appeared one day, now there is a 2nd circular area at the top of my leg. I will be getting this checked asap, I just figured it was something I picked up in the woods last week but now I notice it’s a side effect of…allopurinol! 🙁
Thank you, Patrick! One really can’t think about gout logically, can they?! At least I can’t….but your perspective really helps. I just keep thinking it’s way too long term and too much pain fluctuation to make sense. But I suppose nothing says it has to make sense, to me. I can appreciate Keith’s interest and enthusiasm for understanding it better…
So it’s been 8 weeks or so since diagnosed, I lowered my uric acid level to 4.9 (from 6.4 if I remember correctly, although it was 7.1 last year with no pain or ill effects)!
I celebrated with a beer. One microbrew 16 oz IPA full of goodness. I would think that would be ok. Maybe not at this stage. I wonder if we are more sensitive to quick spikes in uric acid levels after we’ve been through all this? My understanding, though, is that the levels change slowly. Last night after the beer I had a lot of pain in my hands/feet, areas I hadn’t even felt it in before. So, perhaps it was foolish, and I would not recommend it, because as you all know, it’s not worth “experimenting” with pain, and doesn’t really end up helping the celebration. Now, I know that eventually on allopurinol we should be able to have an occasional beer, but I really think this one is my trigger and may have caused it in the first place. I’ll give it some time and see how I feel in a couple days, though.
I can also relate to Jill’s recent post as I to have had a sharp pain just below my left ribcage (in front) and kidney pain as well, although I believe that was from drinking too much water. I wonder how many others have felt that sharp pain?
Edits: Overall, I could have been more careful eating other stuff – but the IPA definitely felt like a trigger and may have been consumed “early”. I realize it’s an overall diet concept, per Keith’s advice. Also, I’m sorry I started this from a different profile accidentally. I couldn’t recall what I signed in with (thought it was just email and password) so chose amazon, which I now think was wrong….Keith, feel free to move this to my other profile or let me know what I did wrong. 🙂 Thanks!