Gout Pain

I am currently suffering through an acute case of gout in my left foot. The pain is quite intense, so much so that even the breeze from an overhead fan registers as stabs of pain. So, I hobble myself off to the doctor’s office to get the necessary medications to make it through the day (and night). While there, the doc stuns me with a “fact”: “On the pain scale, gout is similar to the pain experienced from childbirth.”


I mean, come on! Gout is excrutiating, but I’ve always assumed that childbirth is akin to having your lungs ripped out with a plastic fork.

Are there any women out there who have experienced both gout and childbirth (not at the same time, I hope!) and can give anecdotal accounts as to the similarities? Purely subjective, I know, but I am wondering how accurate the doc was in his assessment.

Guy here, so I don’t personally know about childbirth. I do know that the very first time I had a gout attack, I was in the hospital emergency room with a woman with a broken foot. I was definitely in more pain.

I’m having one right now, in my elbow. Owch!

Well, the thing about childbirth is that the pain is quite intense, and it also can go on for a very long time. I had my first child with no pain medication, and the thing I remember most is just sitting there, for hours, knowing that another wave of pain is inevitably on its way in a minute or two. I don’t know if you’ve ever had intensely bad intestinal cramps due to food poisoning or some kind of bug–but think of the height of that kind of pain just coming over and over like clockwork.

However, I am quite willing to believe that other kinds of pain are equally bad or worse. I twisted my knee in some complicated way a couple of years ago and it swelled up to softball size. The first time I tried to stand on it I literally almost passed out. That was worse than labor pain, but the difference was that if I didn’t put weight on the leg, the pain was not so bad. There is no way of escaping the pain of unmedicated labor. (MMV–some women have a fairly easy time with labor.)

As for the gout–the main way I concluded that the mysteriously swollen toe I had a while ago was not gout, was that it didn’t seem to hurt badly enough.

The thing that’s so insidious about gout is that there is no “safe position”. Even if you don’t put weight on it. it hurts. If you just lie still, the pain doesn’t “simmer down” – it seems as if there’s a diabolical “pain engine” inside constantly churning things up.

Fo What it’s worth, Pepper Mill had a relatively easy time with childbirth (no painkillers! It happened too fast!) Still, I wouldn’t dare compare the two – childbirth seemed relatively fast and easy, but I wasn’t inside her head.

I wanted to pass on a Gout tip from my husband’s step-dad. Someone told him cherry juice was the magic bullet, so he tried it (just like an inch in a glass or so every day) and had dramatic improvements in about 2 weeks. Good luck!

Cranberry juice, IIRC from my pathology class, can also help. The idea is to make your urine acidic enough to dissolve those pesky uric acid crystals so the kidneys can flush the stuff away (bearing in mind that the acid has to go through your bloodstream first, so it might be able to take a whack at the crystals in whichever joint they’ve settled into- the aforementioned big toe being a favorite hangout).

Also, in case your doctor neglected to mention it…

stay away from red meats, asparagus, lentils, peas and mushrooms. All of these can aggravate gout. There are a couple of other foods too, but these seem to be the biggies.

Thanks for the dietary advice. The doc actually never mentioned anything about food intake and possible remedies. He simply examined, wrote out some scrips, made the comment about pain, and left. I knew to avoid red meat, alcohol, and peanuts, but the rest is all new to me.

According to my friend who also suffers from gout: avoid shellfish. He can eat fish, but nothing with a shell: shrimp, crab, scallops, oysters, etc.

Also, he drinks organic Black Cherry juice. There are some other herbal remedies I researched for him, but the cherry juice seems to do the trick, so I don’t push my little concoctions on him. (I grow herbs for medicinal use. Not THOSE kind…)

I have had gout for a few years now and it is incredibly painful. I recently got it in my achilles tendon, easily the worst place I have ever had an attack. I have tried the cherry juice and while it can hold off an attack, it does help at when I am having one.

I have read many conflicting reports on what diets can aggravate gout. Meat and seafood are always high on the list. Some recommend that you eat none, some recommend no more than 4oz a day. Organ meats are always something to stay away from as they are extremely high in purine. I have also read that whole wheat can aggravate gout though I am not sure I believe that.

The other key thing is weight control. I can’t remember the exactly details but there is something about fat cells producing purine or reducing the bodies ability to process it. Of course rapid weight loss can bring on an acute attack and just try exercising when your big toe feels like a hot spike it being driven into it!

In may the New England Journal of Medicine published an article indicating that consumer low-fat dairy products can also help reduce acute gout attacks. I am not a big milk drinker but as a result of this article I have been increasing my intake of milk and yogurt. Hasn’t worked so far…

I got my anti-inflammatory last night, and my elbow is almost back to normal. I was in serious pain last night.

I’ve heard the same about shellfish, and I haven’t had lobster, shrimp, or scallops in years. Wine sometimnes does and sometimes doesn’t seem to trigger an attack. I haven’t noticed any problemsd with asparagus, peanuts, or red meat.

I’ve tried the cherry juice solution, and it doesn’t seem to work for me.

They told my father to lay off the shellfish and red meats and fried foods…

He told them to just give him pain pills. I have never seen anything so red and inflammed and physically hot as a swollen toe filled with gout! When a breeze causes such intense pain!

My father was a bastard though so I didn’t feel too badly for him. Neither did my little brother. One day he was laid up with gout in his recliner. My brother was being rambunctious and my mother wanted to ward off my father’s wrath my telling the boy to play elsewhere because “daddy’s foot hurts.” He said “oh daddy’s foot hurts?” and kicked his foot as hard as he could. Inside I laughed so hard I almost exploded. I thought he was going to pass out from the pain.

Gout hurts worse than a spinal tap!!!

Oh Man, Tanookie, that is priceless! I can imagine his sufferring!
Yesterday, the neighbor saw me hobbling out of my car and came over to ask what was wrong. While we were chatting, his toddler son came roaring up the driveway on his tiny three-wheeler and ran right over my foot! The pain was blinding - my vision dissolved into a blanket of white light. I nearly passed out. Couldn’t get mad, though. It was too much like a Bugs Bunny cartoon event. Something to laugh about … now.

This thread is scaring me. What can I do to avoid gout? Do I have to sacrafice a goat? Because if that’s what it takes, I’ll do it, so help me, <insert deity here>!

My quack tells me that I’ll get it again :eek: :eek: :eek:

Telll me more about this gout of which you speak. I’ve often heard about it, but never really knew what it was. I just kind of pretended that I did. And yes, I am too lazy to Google it.

Inflammation of joints caued by a buildup of uric acid. It doesn’t sound like much, to th inexperienced. The classic picture of a gout sufferer was an obese old man who had too much “high living”, and was now paying the price by having a pain in his toe.

A pain your toe! How bad can that be? Ha!

People who think that way have never had gout. Note that, when your toe hurts, you can’t walk, and every step you have to take is agony. Consider that, for the purposes of Gout, “Toe” consists of quite a bit of your foot as well. Finally, “pain in the toe” doesn’t begin to do the feeling justice. It realy feels as if someone with a sadistic streak has actually grabbed he tendon attached to tha toe, and is attempting to pul it off of your bones by force alone. Every now and then he changes his grip, and the direction of pulling, so that you are constantly getting new experiences of pain, even if you lie still. The pain will keep you awake. If you’re asleep, it will wake you. In an attack that’s really getting going, your toe will swell, turn red, and accumulate great heat. (I once tried to cool it with ice wrapped i a towel, but the towel was too irritating. I applied the ice directly to the foot, and could see it rapidly melting. at that point, I simply filled a bucket with ice and water and plunged my whole foot in. Best idea I ever had.)

To equate it to a stubbed toe is ludicrous. Gout is to a stubbed toe as migraine is to a normal headache.
Finally, consider that it can strike any joint. Even joints you didn’t know you had. As I write, my elbow is still under gout attack. Anti-inflammatories have weakened the attack, but not killed it. Yet. Ouch.

You are also more prone to an attack in joints that have suffered injury.

Sometimes severe cases are/were treated by scraping the crystals off the bone.

Imagine pain so intense that the weight of a sheet is excruciating. (My father had one of those little tent frames to keep the sheet off his foot - often he would kick it in his sleep - you’d think he was being murdered)

Only people with a mutation in the gene that codes the enzyme HGPRT are susceptible to gout. People with this mutation don’t process purine as well as people without, and the purine–as has been said–crystallizes inside the joints, creating excruciating pain. But, if you don’t have the mutation, you don’t have gout.

(this lecture taken from my old genetics notes)

I saw a guy with severe gout in the emergency department, he’d been suffering with it since his early teens and had it in almost every joint in his body. He had tophi (hard lumps of urate crystals) on his nose, ears, shoulders, ankles, fingers and toes. I have NEVER seen anyone in so much pain, and that includes kidney stones and labour.
He was on morphine, since nothing else even took the edge off.

For everyone else, they’re trying the new Cox-2 inhibitor Arcoxia (Etoricoxib) for pain relief and it seems to help.

Aspirin is the absolute WORST thing you can take if you think you have gout. Although it is used in high doses (under medical supervision) to treat gout, the dose you would normally take for pain relief will just make things worse. You need specialised pain meds and anti-inflammatories.

They can give you medication (Allopurinol, Probenicid or Colchicine) to prevent another attack of gout, but that has it’s own set of pros and cons.