Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tis the Season for Gout: The Disease of Kings

It is said (usually by men) to be more painful than childbirth. The pain comes on so suddenly that one minute you could be blissfully gnawing on that Christmas turkey leg, and the next minute....your big toe is swollen to the size of a coconut. Henry VIII, Charles V, and George IV suffered from it. My daughter suffers from it. Every time I put her in her crib she screams,"GeeOUT!" (Poor kid. I would want to get out of my crib too if I had gout.)

Called the “disease of kings,” gout is a form of arthritis characterized by inflammation in a joint. But doctors today are seeing more and more cases of gout, especially during the holiday season.

Christmas dinner for the gout patient
What to serve that gouty relative this Christmas? First off, hide the brandy, stuffed pigeon and goose eggs. Gout is caused by an overproduction of uric acid by the body usually brought on my eating an artery clogging diet of rich meats and alcohol. Instead, offer your guest some coffee, bananas, blueberries or celery – all foods shown to prevent gout.

Happy Holidays. Enjoy your gout-free feast!


Ashley Ashbee said...

Hahahha "usually by men"

Christopher said...

I've always wondered what exactly gout was. But, I was never curious enough to actually look it up or make any effort to ask anyone. Now I know, thanks for that.

STAG said...

I suffer terribly from gout. I found that a large handful of raisins, "crasins" or dried cherries per day seems to keep it at bay.
My type of gout is caused by uric acid crystals in the blood, and aloalapurinol (the active ingredient in cherries) keeps kidney stones and gout from getting the upper hand. Rich food gets a bum rap however, I know vegetarians who suffer terribly from gout, but still, meat is most definitely a culprit.
Port wine is a tradional antitdote. Probably because of the alo...etc. in it. But the phenols (which often trigger migraines) may not be worth the trouble.
I totally love the picture...that's exactly what it is like...a random spikey crystal floats down to the bottom, and gets caught in a capillary where it promptly dissolves. If there is a nerve ending right there, that nerve is triggered by the acid, and it feels for all the world like you stepped on a needle.

Childbirth? Nnaahhhhh I don't think so. I would not be able to stand that!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks for this post. I plan on passing it on to a friend of mine who is sure that he has gout.

CR Wall said...

Thank you for your helpful comments, Stag. I wish you well; it sounds like a very painful ailment!

Re: childbirth, certainly I would say every woman does suffer. I certainly did, terribly so. But there does seem to be a wide variance on this experience.

To stay within our interests here, take for example Empress Maria Therese, mother of Marie Antoinette. She was said to be incredibly strong, would labour a bit, deliver her babies, and within hours be back to work on state papers, albeit in bed. But she was said to have a remarkable resillience. Now, take her daughter, MA. The first pregnancy and delivery nearly killed her. Certainly, she suffered immeasurably more than her mother did in childbirth.