I sometimes even found it difficult to walk

Photo of exercise group (PantherMedia / Robert Kneschke)

Sid, 73 years old

"I woke up from the pain one night: My right big toe was swollen and red, and really hurt."

When I was about 48 years old I woke up from the pain one night: My right big toe was swollen and red, and really hurt. That’s when the problems started. So I went to the doctor. He diagnosed me with gout and I was prescribed medication to treat it. But I still kept on having attacks of gout and sometimes even found it difficult to walk. Over time, I started to notice pain in other joints, but the worst symptoms were in my toe. I can still remember a business trip where I had to put my leg up because it hurt so much. And during another business trip I had to find a doctor because I couldn't bear the pain anymore.

The gout attacks were irregular and sudden

The uric acid levels in my blood were checked regularly and I was prescribed various medications. But I still had irregular and sudden gout attacks. We continued to try and find the right medication and the right dose. We finally succeeded after about three years of treatment, and I was then only prescribed allopurinol. Since then I haven't had any more gout attacks. Over time I started drinking a lot less alcohol and the allopurinol dose was lowered to 100 mg. I still take that dose now.

I also changed my eating habits back then. I made sure to eat less offal and legumes. But I must say, I can't remember particular foods ever having triggered a gout attack. Nevertheless, I still avoid fatty foods and large portions.

Gout no longer affects my life

My medication still works very well and I’m hardly in any pain. Every now and then I have aching limbs, but I can’t say whether that’s to do with gout or just with my age. At my age, we’re simply not as fit as we used to be.

I try to get lots of movement and have been doing regular exercises for a few years now. I think that's really important and it’s really good for me.

I now find myself having to go to the doctor quite regularly for other check-ups. They then measure my uric acid levels at the same time and I get the medication I need.

I currently take one tablet a day, in the evening. I used to always take them in the morning. But I have to take a number of other medications now too, so I’ve started taking it in the evening. It all works out fine that way.

Acknowledgment

Our real-life stories summarize interviews with people who are affected by the medical condition. Our interview partners have given us permission to publish their stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to them.

The real-life stories give an insight into how other people cope and live with a medical condition. Their opinions and comments are not recommendations by IQWiG.

Please note: The names of our interview partners have been changed to protect their identity. The photos are of models.