July 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm #3607ShreelaParticipant
Hi, I haven't had any gout attacks myself, but I'm still very interested in my family's uric acid levels, including my own, since my grandfather passed away due to gout, and now my brother (with only one kidney) inherited Granddaddy's gout before my brother turned 40. I've read that most women don't begin suffering from gout until menopause – well that's around the corner for me, so since my family history is so strong, I'll be requesting a uric acid test be added to my check-up labs.
My grandfather had gout for at least 15 years that I know of. He refused to cut back on meat, but took the meds prescribed once he started having more gout attacks. He took the meds for many years until he started having stomach bleeds, requiring tranfusions a few times. So the dr took him off the meds since hemorrhaging was worse than gout attacks. Granddaddy continued eating meat, and sour cherries my father sent him over the years, until he and Grandma entered assisted living due to Grandma's Alzheimers.
Granddaddy gout flared up so badly he couldn't get out of bed, so Assisted Living sent him to the hospital. My cousin called me – who's had diabetes type 1 and asthma all his life, so is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to being hospitalized – and told me he thought Granddaddy might be in kidney failure!
I call Granddaddy's hospital, and was told he was NOT diagnosed with kidney failure, but then when asked how much urine he put out in last 24 hours in his foley cath – ZERO, and if he did have an IV, what was the rate, 125cc/hr (yea, I was a floor nurse for 6 years), so I knew I'd better fly in to be there with Granddaddy, especially since he also had heart disease (all those fluids staying in his body, not so good on weakened, older hearts).
Long story short, despite my cousin arranging a renal consult in the hopes of dyalising him, Granddaddy didn't live long enough to be dialysed. I did get there in time to spend a wonderful night with him, even if it was in the hospital, and was able to honor my Grandfather's wishes of NOT being put on life-support, by stopping the nurses from CPR when Granddaddy was no longer capable of answering for himself.
I opted not to have Granddaddy autopsied due to his age, as well as that kind of thing freaking people out where Granddaddy lived (small rural area). But even though Granddaddy was never diagnosed with kidney failure, me and my cousin are pretty sure his kidneys were crystalized.
My brother arrived for the funeral, and I find out he's had a few gout attacks already, even though he hadn't turned 40 yet! Over the years, my brother hasn't been as stubborn about meat as Granddaddy was – perhaps our suspicions of Granddaddy's crystalized kidneys, along with my brother only having one kidney, makes my brother more compliant about following his dr's dietary recommendations. I recently visited my brother, who said his attacks are far and few between on his mostly vegetarian/anti-inflammatory diet, but still feels “crunchy” on occasion. My brother isn't on the internet, so I print up stuff for him from time to time, as new info is discovered.
I decided I'm going to buy him a home uric acid machine, but am waiting to see if maybe I might need one for myself. I've read that women normally don't get gout until after menopause, since I'm just about there, I'll be requesting a uric acid test for myself, in the hopes of getting a head start on uric acid control if my levels aren't low-normal. If my uric acid is low-normal, I'll just buy the one machine for my brother. In addition to being able to test his levels when he's “crunchy”, I'm also interested to see if eating anthocyanin-rich foods might help lower uric acid blood levels, which the machine will come in handy.
Now that I've “gone public”, I guess I better make my checkup appointment tomorrow LOL
Nice to meet you all!July 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm #11748Keith Taylor (GoutPal Admin)Participant
Ah Shreela, thank you so much for persevering, and sticking with this forum. Your story is very moving.
On menopause, it has long been thought that female hormones reduce the risk of gout, and there is some evidence that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps. I'm certainly no expert in this matter, but I do recall reading something about other health risks associated with HRT, so that is definitely something to discuss with your doctor. My feeling is that it is equally likely to be associated with iron. I've enough on at the moment fighting for better uric acid testing, but when that battle is won, the next one may well be to get better investigation of the links between excess iron and gout. The evidence that I have seen points to a strong link, yet there seems to be no official recognition of this in any country.
On uric acid testing, I have long thought that tests should be given as a matter of course to all siblings and children/grand children of gout patients. It is nice to meet someone who agrees with that.
On diet, whilst bad diet can make gout worse, it is most often caused by genetics. As I'm very fond of saying – no amount of dieting will change your parents. Even vegetarians get gout. Why? Because humans create their own meat. Our bodies are the biggest source of uric acid. Giving up meat might reduce the uric acid level slightly, but if genetics puts the number above 8, cutting out meat will not bring it back below 6.
Like you “I'm also interested to see if eating anthocyanin-rich foods might help lower uric acid blood levels,” so I look forward to reading about your results, in due course.
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