Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gout and Lupus

It has been an emotion-filled past 2 weeks for me on both the work front and health status.  

Recent results on potassium level showed that the level is back to normal range.  I asked whether I should continue with Micardis since my blood pressure during the period I stopped the medication is perfectly normal. I somewhat suspect that diagnosis of hypertension way before the diagnosis of SLE could be lupus related.  And since I have my lupus under-control now, whether it would be mean that I can stop the hypertension medication. The answer from doc is to continue to take the Micardis (even though it may elevate potassium level). His reason - I have evidence of renal inflammation (in medical term - it is called nephritis) in the initial stage of my SLE and mild protein in the urine.  Micardis is useful to help control renal disease and therefore I should continue to take 40mg daily. I suppose that means I also need to watch my diet and not to take too much high potassium foods. 

Just recently, I wake up with pain on the big toe joint.  I thought it was a sprained joint from walking too much the day before. Didn't think too much about and thought it would heal after a day or so with some massage.  The next day, the pain became worse and I noticed the foot has become swollen.  It then daunted on me that it might be gout - though I has never had it before.  I read up about gout on the internet and learned that gout is due to uric acid accumulating at joints and cause it to be inflamed (commonly occurred at the big toe - a condition called podagra).  A diet of too much protein may cause too much uric acid for the kidney to excrete it, especially if the kidney function is not efficient - perhaps like mine. while I waited for the next day to see a doc, I also decided to self-medicate with Naproxen Sodium (Synflex) - a NSAID that I used sparingly for margarine or severe menses cramps.  While this medicine is effective for pain and inflammation and also can be used for gout, it is harsh on kidney thus I used it only when necessary or in low dose.  I had one tablet in the night and by next morning - the pain and the swell have both subsided. The doc visit was abandoned since I reckoned that the doc would prescribe the same medicine or if not, give me prednisolone that I would be reluctant to start.          

On reflection, I wonder why my health is being hit by one thing by another recently.  Stress could be a trigger since I have dealing with difficult work matters in recent weeks and some involve personnel issues which is emotional straining for me.  Diet could be another factor - but now I am in a fix - I actually do not know how to eat anymore since I need to exclude potassium rich food and also protein rich food... I really do not know how have a balance diet then.  Think I am giving up on this front and just continue to eat everything in moderation and don't care about their potassium or protein level.   Maybe that will make it happier and also help in my health!          
     

4 comments:

  1. Yes, stress and diet are biggest factors that affect our health. With the stress caused by work and other obligations, we tend to neglect our nutrition and just eat whatever that is instantly available. Or sometimes, we do not really know how to eat well; we think that as long that we have food in our plate and eat at the right time, then we're eating well. I guess some people really need help from those who can coach us how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    Julene Mangrum

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  2. Hi! I hope u are getting better now :) I too have been diagnose with sle lupus 2 months ago.. The meds is making me crazy sometimes, thanks to sharing your story, may I know which doctor do u visit and hospital ? Thanks! Nicole

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    1. Stay positive, Nicole. You are not alone and whatever you are experiencing will go away. Time will heal the discomfort though not SLE. I am seeing a doc at mount e but I am uncomfortable to reveal his name here as I do not want to be seen as endorsing doctor. You should be comfortable with the doc you are seeing. Else look for another one who can give you a second opinion.

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  3. Exercise also improves blood circulation and this can in turn reduce inflammation during an gout attack.

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