Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Follow up to 'The Gout Attack'

I received a good question from a reader and when I began writing a lengthy reply, I realized this would be  good for others well. Thanks Elizabeth! ( The Gout Attack )

Hey Lily! Love your site. I just found this morning looking for a remedy to clean my husband's swimming goggles. I'm wondering what you found out and ultimately did about the gout and restrictive diet? I'm a registered dietitian and HATE having to put people on the diet. I am a runner too and seem to have gout in my big toe (other family members have gout, too).
Elizabeth, RD, LDN Jax Beach, FL

Hi Elizabeth!
Thanks for reading my little blog. I'm really glad it helped.

I actually haven't had a 'gout' attack since writing this post and forgot I even had a 'gout' issue.

I did a restrictive diet for the duration of about 2-3 months, I took cherry supplements, drank 3-4 Liters of water and everything the books told me to do. However, I really didn't find relief or a difference in pain on my wrist or toe.

I had a blood test analysis done at my yearly physical by my physician and what I found out was I actually didn't have gout, even though I experienced ‘gout-like’ symptoms. So all this time I thought I had gout, but it wasn't. It was actually a funny conversation.

me: "Dr. Lee, I wanted to ask you what I can do about my gout"
Dr. Lee: "Gout??!? what are you talking about!! you don't have gout! I would've told you if you had gout"

I naturally have a slightly higher uric acid level, but for my body it operates at that level, which the orthopedic surgeon misread and automatically assumed it was gout (if the uric acid range was 4-8, I'm at 8.5), but gout itself wasn't my culprit which is why I didn't find any relief from the restrictive diet.

With that, I began to use other remedies to treat inflammation and not gout

My 'go-to' remedy to relieve inflammation is Ginger! I used to hate ginger, but now I LOVE it. I take ginger capsules and drink ginger tea  (julienne ginger root and add hot water) after any 'questionable' meal (a 48oz Rib eye steak, or an all you can eat seafood buffet - yes I consume those things haha) and I haven't had any pain or flare ups since. 

As for running and having big toe pain, the anatomy of the foot or the shape of shoe may be the cause of the inflammation. I started using custom orthotics made from the podiatrist and along with the ginger I haven’t had any issues with the toe. (FYI- check your insurance carrier it might cover orthotics, which my insurance thankfully covered my $250 custom orthotics)

I hope this helps and that maybe you’re like me, we have gout-like symptoms but not gout itself, and managing inflammation may by the remedy for you and for some of your patients as well.

Happy eating! J

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chiropractors are more than just bones.

I've been to 5+ chiropractors in my prior days . I know some chiropractors only focus on certain areas, such as only the neck or only the spine, but now there are some that are so much more.
My current chiropractor, Dr Jon King ( is also very knowledgeable in sports therapy and physical therapy. If you have a chance to test out a few, 'shop around' for a multi-functional Chiro.

I was going to a PT for an ongoing shoulder issue. I knew it was muscle / joint related so I went to a PT, I didn't think a Chiro would be interested in muscles. On my right arm, certain movements would always illicit pain where the deltoid attaches to the bicep area. I spent about 3 months at physical therapy with electric simulator pads on my arm, massages, stretches and exercises. My arm got marginally better. It still hurt and I still didn't feel like the root of the issue was solved. I gave up and felt I would just have to live with this nagging pain. I tried lots of stretching and yoga, but the pain never went away.

Midway through 2013 I was having a issue with my right hip. I felt that one hip was higher than the other. Again, I thought it would go away over time, or get better with stretching and yoga, but it kept getting worse. Eventually around Oct 2013, I could not even sleep because the pain kept me up and  I decided.. "hmm this is probably a 'bone' issue, so I'll go to a chiropractor". What happened was that the back muscles are so tight, they're pulling the hip up so one side is higher than the other. While my Chiro is working on realigning my hips and all these muscle problems, (which have improved greatly in the 2-3 months), I mentioned to him about my nagging arm issue.

After a few 'tests' he narrowed down that the problem area was a scapular and sub-scapular muscle. Its surprising that a back muscle would be causing the front of my arm to feel pain. He pressed into the very very tender area of the scapular muscles (if you haven't felt it, its a Very uncomfortable area to be pressed). I was laughing because seriously I delirious with pain. After beating me up, that night I was able to move my arm and NOT feel any pain. It was amazing! After 1 visit my arm is significantly better (70% better) compared to 3 months of physical therapy (15% better).

I can understand why PT had such poor results because he only focused on the area of pain, the arm, but the root of the issue was my back. My Chrio said that the scapular muscle is commonly injured when a person sleeps on their side with their hand tucked under their head (which is how I sleep practically every night).

I'm super happy to have the range of motion in my right arm again!