Exercise Triggers My Gout
June 19, 2006 1:00 AM   Subscribe

How can I work out and lose weight without triggering the gout that has repeatedly sabotaged my weight-loss efforts?

I seem to be in a Catch-22 situation with gout and exercise. When I workout (usually on a Schwinn Air-Dyne exercise bike with arm motion) I get gout attacks. Allopurinol does more harm than good. Indomethicin clears the gout but is tough on the stomach. I had my first gout attack at 25 and am now 36. I have lost over 120 lbs since gastric bypass in 2002 but am stuck because of this gout problem.
posted by Didaskalos to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Have you tried water exercise. Most public pools have an aerobics in water program that should solve this issue for you.
posted by ptm at 1:15 AM on June 19, 2006

Colchecine, start with 0.6 mg daily and go to 1 mg daily if symptoms continue. Cheap, effective, and Ben Franklin used it, but it's not just "traditional medicine" - if your doctor didn't consider it for treatment of your acute attacks it's because in larger doses it causes diarrhea.
posted by nicwolff at 7:49 AM on June 19, 2006

Don't know about you, but my gout blazes if I overdo it on red wine or red meat. Perhaps some dietary adjustments could help you keep it at bay.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:58 AM on June 19, 2006

Thankfully, my gout has been under control for a couple of years but (no pun intended) I feel your pain.

The first thing is are you sure its gout? IANAD and I might be disremembering some early details but I don't think exercise alone is a normal trigger. Could the exercise be triggering some osteo-arthritis in the same area?

Assuming it is gout, nicwolff is right - colchicine to start for about 5 days (usually in combination with indomethecin as a pain killer). After the inflamation is under control, begin allopurinol therapy (and you'll probably stay on the allopurinol for life). If I remember correctly, taking the allopurinol while you are having an attack will just make it worse.

Also I agree with EatTheWeak that diet is a big trigger. Before I got it under control, I discovered that for me the big no-no's were shellfish (and of course I love it) and beer (yeasts). Organ meat can be an issue too.

Anyway, I've given up shellfish and beer (well, just a bite or a sip very occaisionally) am on daily allopurinol and haven't had an attack for almost 3 years. YMMV, but in any case see a good rheumatologist.

Good luck!
posted by dragonbay at 9:48 AM on June 19, 2006

It's always a good idea to do research on drugs before using them. According to one very quick Google search, "Colchecine can have serious side-effects such as bone marrow suppression, kidney failure, seizures and even death." http://www.curegout.com/TreatmentOptions.htm

A very safe alternative is tart cherry juice (google web for studies), which you can get best from concentrates, and buy off the web for $14.00 a quart. (I get mine from "King Orchards" in Michigan.) Make sure it is TART cherry juice concentrate, NOT sweet cherry juice. You can start taking 1-2 tablespoons a day ina glass of water, increase it after a week if the gout doesn't get better.

While it may not be directly related, you might want to look at a study that just came out showing tart cherry juice significantly lessen muscle pain and injury due to exercise - here's a pointer to it:

posted by Kellyu at 1:40 PM on June 29, 2006

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