Do you think I have gout?

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi, just found this gout forum today and thought I'd make a post in case anyone was willing to give me their opinion - thanks.

Would appreciate your views on whether on not you believe Im suffering from gout or something else.

For 5 months I've had fairly symmetrical pains throughout my joints. First felt in my toes, then fingers, knees, wrists, arms and shins. I'm mostly affected now in my fingers, at the finger tips, with my index fingers becoming quite swollen with loss of motion. Also my arms are sore. I find it painful to pick up most objects, typing and putting some of my fingers in cold water is uncomfortable. My fingers are showing signs of what is either herberden nodes or possibly tophi (although not at all as extreme as some pictures you see). Looking at online pics I'm tempted to think they are herberden nodes. My fingers feel like they are almost someone else's, as a result of the swelling. I'm also finding I'm a bit clumsy with them dropping things occasionally.

One of my middle toes has gone quite thick 'bony' but apart from that there are no other physical "tells" that are obvious.

My GP asked for an x-ray of my hands in February which showed only minor wear and tear possibly osteoarthritis he thought in the fingers. However they have become much more swollen since then. At the start of the year uric acid levels were up to 440 from 400 in the previous year; and most recently were recorded as 590. I was put on a course of Colchicine in January to "test" for gout which had no positive effect, Prednisolone has been tried a couple of times which did help, and I've now been taking Allopurinol for 6 weeks with no positive effect, although in the first week of treatment it was combined with Colchicine - when on that occasion I was in less pain than on the first occasion when Colchicine was used.

Im a 47 year old male. Not over weight. Dont drink heavily but do enjoy a beer (which Ive currently cut out) re purines.

I'd imagine most people would agree that these are not the typical symptoms of gout; since they did not begin with swelling of the big toe, I have no 'redness' of skins, and I have sharp pains which have been going on for months, rather than 'flare ups for a few weeks only'.

However I think what's pushing my GP to think in that direction is the symmetrical nature (ie unlikely to be osteoarthritis but rather is inflammation of some kind) and the elevated uric acid. I've asked if I can be referred to a reumatologist and he's said they wouldn't look at my case while my bloods are not showing an issue e.g. no raised rheumatoid factor. Should I be pushing this? Or if necessary trying to get a (hopefully not to costly) private assessment?

I became convinced it was rheumatoid arthritis, however things are not worse in the mornings and as said bloods are not showing raised Rheumatoid factor. Reading about early stage RA experiences, it does however suggest that morning stiffness and positive blood tests may however not be present.

Appreciate greatly you reading my story (sorry for the length). If you have an observations then it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Michael

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Gout hurts like an SOB and you haven't mentioned that level of pain, so add that to the evidence against.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I'm in pain most days and it's distracting and can be v sharp when I go to pick something up, however it doesn't seem to be the same level as typical gout pain. I've had kidney stone pain which was at times pretty unbearable -and this is nothing like that level of intensity. I take it you feel that indicates it's probably not gout?

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  • Posted

    I can't wrap my brain around how you could have changes profound enough to be easily visible, yet can't get any special testing.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michael gout is a complex and painful.everybody has different degrees of it.myself at 72years of age have had gout for the last 15 years.in various joints over the years.it as progressed now to my fingers and elbows which I have never had before.my uric levels are high.I have been managing with cholochine. the doctor gave me allopurunol in combination with cholochine while having a attack.and made this worst.stopped allopurunol.have seen the doctor who is going to have a full blood count to eliminate any other conditions. including any inflammation i have in my body.etc and i hope this will do the trick for my peace of mind.have you had a full blood count.

    I hope

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    • Posted

      I use high potency Bromelain (GDU 3000) in combination with colchicine for Gout pain in joints, and it works dramatically better. Bromelain is a pineapple enzyme that dissolves urate crystals in your joints.  Adding your favorite NSAID (I use ibuprofen), and even significant gout inflammation goes away in about 30 minutes.
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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for your reply David. I'll ask my GP about a full blood count.

      In terms of it (or I suppose some other inflammation) affecting your fingers, can I ask - are they stiff and painful to move/ and when you pick things up? In my case my index fingers are worse although small finger has the worst "lump" on it. Thanks again

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    • Posted

      Ok thanks Andrew, I'll read up on.

      Still unsure if I have gout. Whether people have pain for months at a time with gout if crystals are well formed...and mainly in fingers...my impression is that it isn't typical.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi Michael. Yes I have lumps on my thumb and finger my elbow is still sore. and i have pains in my muscels in both my arms and hands.I have just had a blood test and awaiting the results.i shall tell you soon as I get the results back.regards David.
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  • Posted

    My physician had no cautionary recommendations or statements. Knowing the potentially serious side effects of existing Gout drugs, e.g. colchicine (diarrhea, too high dose can be fatal), allopurinol (allergic reactions, can weaken you immune system, can reduce blood production) , I view the risks of Bromelain as small. Its been sold for years as a meat tenderizer. I've been taking it occasionally of years and had multiple physicals and had no issues.

    Bromelain improves the absorption of some drugs by your body, that may make them more potent, e.g. anti-biotics, so you may want to avoid use in this case. 

    The combination of colchicine, Bromelain, and NSAIDS gives the most dramatic relief from gout pain and remedy that I've ever found. The effect is quite noticeable in 30 minutes, and within a few hours the inflation is usually completely gone. Bromelain is inexpensive, and widely available from many suppliers.

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  • Posted

    Hi,I think gout arthritis is quite difficult to diagnose, I went to my GP already with osteoarthritis,after I woke up after Christmas 2016 and was in so much pain I couldn't move, I forced myself into the shower,dressed in agony,and got doctors appointment, there followed monthly blood tests for everything,and finally in March-April I was given gout diagnosis,there was some consideration it may be rheumatoid arthritis.

    I'm having a flare up just now,despite the allopurinol, started with chronic wrist pain,sides of both hands,and knuckle joints swollen,right ankle hugely swollen on ankle bone,round back of ankle,can hardly stand on it, but no pain in my toes, feels like iv broken my ankle,but IV not slipped,or fallen, and paracetamol just ineffective,so just put on dihydracodeine. I also have tophi in Palm of right hand,raised white lump,hard.i was convinced it was RA,I think we can only compare notes,and stay off purine rich foods !

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