The Web Log of Jon Henshaw

The gift of gout

Written by , published on and related to 🏋️ 🏃 🚴 🥕 Health

Once you hit your mid-to-late-thirties, things start to slow down. It’s an interesting time because it coincides with you feeling fairly confident about yourself and the world around you. As in, you don’t give as much of a shit about things, because you’ve realized how insignificant those things actually are.

If you’re like me, 🍺, 🥃 and 🍸 also start to taste better and you find yourself consuming them more often than not. That has been my case for several years now. I’ve fought off the unpleasant effects of alcohol (making me fatter) by 🏋️, 🚵 and 🏃‍♂️. However, an unexpected thing happened to me as soon as I hit 40-years-old. I started to develop chronic insertional achilles tendinitis (IAT).

IAT would make it impossible to walk for weeks at a time, which also kept me from 🏋️, 🚵 and 🏃‍♂️. Without exercise, I found myself drinking more often, especially when I felt more stressed out. I also started to notice that I was becoming more physically depressed. I felt more tired and my brain felt slower. It became a vicious cycle, similar to how overweight people (myself included) relieve themselves emotionally with unhealthy food over and over again.

🏃‍♂️ is my zen and 🏋️ makes me feel strong, but with IAT I was stuck. So after three years of off-and-on-again IAT, I finally sought out a specialist and got an MRI. I found out that absolutely nothing was wrong with me. There were no signs of arthritis or problems with my achilles. Everything looked completely healthy. After ruling out all of the other possibilities, my doctor diagnosed me with gout.

This was shocking to me, because I’ve always imagined gout as being an old person’s disease where they have this giant swelled up foot and ankle. After learning more about gout and how it first usually presents itself with a swelled up big toe knuckle, I immediately remembered the two times that happened to me in my right foot and I couldn’t walk very well for a week each time. Holy crap! I’ve been fighting gout all this time!

I learned that gout is caused by purines (which sounds completely made up to me) which are found in high quantities in 🍺, 🥃, 🍸, 🐮, 🐔, 🐷, 🐟 and 🦐. That’s basically my entire diet. Consuming any of those on a regular basis and in high volume can cause gout. In addition, not staying well hydrated can cause gout.

In most cases, gout is hereditary. It wasn’t until after I was diagnosed that my Dad said, “Oh yeah, your Mom and I have had gout several times.” That would have been good to know a long time ago 😕.

Bottom line, the cure for gout for me was to give up 🍺, 🥃, 🍸, 🐮, 🐔, 🐷, 🐟 and 🦐, and to stay💧. So that’s what I did, ❄️🦃.

Since I’ve stopped drinking alcohol and have only been eating a vegetarian diet, my symptoms have completely gone away. I’ve been exercising regularly again, and I have yet to experience any of the old symptoms. The other thing that’s changed significantly is what I call my brainergy. I feel more alert and energetic. I had no idea just how much alcohol was physically depressing my body and my mind. I’m sure it’s also because I’m eating healthier now, but not drinking alcohol has made my mind significantly more sharp and intellectually motivated. So in a weird way, gout has been a blessing.

If you made it this far, then you should definitely listen to this. Hat tip to Norcross!