Monday, April 30, 2012

Gout and the Internet: Claims in conflict.

There are still conflicts regarding food you should or should not eat as a Gout sufferer.

Some sites claim that coffee is a diuretic and should be avoided while other sites claim that five or six cups of coffee daily reduces gout in men. Sites are often at odds over which foods are higher in purines than others, which foods are high in purines yet pose a lower risk than other foods just as high in purines.

Chicken or poultry is often debated as a food that should either be avoided altogether or a food that contributes to the reduction of gouty attacks. It is also claimed by some that dairy products contribute to acidity of one's body and aggravate inflammation, while others claim that dairy products reduce uric acid.

It is overwhelmingly agreed that Cherries, Blueberries, Strawberries and other dark-red fruits are good for the treatment of Gout, however, Fructose recently appeared on lists provided by clinics as a food to avoid, and now Apples have come under contention as a either a source of fructose to be avoided, or one of the fruits that allegedly help reduce uric acid and mitigate gout attacks.

Some sites recommend the consumption of fresh lemon juice with a glass of water after meals. A recipe of a small amount of baking soda (less than half a teaspoon) mixed with two or three Tablespoons of lemon juice in a tall glass of water is suggested to rapidly reduce symptoms, but you must mix the lemon juice with baking soda first and let the chemical reaction take place first before adding the water so it doesn't foam up in your stomach.

Tofu has been suggested as an alternative to meat for gout sufferers by some sites while other sites contend that Tofu should be avoided because of its high purine content. Tofu is a product of legumes which are listed as foods to avoid.

It is implied by these opinions that animals are a much higher source of purines than plants, however, one doctor told me directly that diet has very little to do with how much uric acid is produced in the body, and he told me that in 2011.

Changing the alkalinity of one's blood or urine by consuming potassium citrate or sodium bicarbonate has a majority of recommendations, however, some commenters at online forums contend that blood PH cannot be changed in this manner. It has been suggested that uric acid can be neutralized in the urine in this manner which prevents the formation of kidney stones.

I personally tried this recipe with varying results. Most likely the recipe fails because I was too late in heading off the acidity of my body and the uric acid levels are already too high to do anything about it.

One symptom I noticed right away before the onset of a severe gout attack was perceived as a slight allergic reaction to a meal I consumed which included Asparagus and Cottage Cheese.

About an hour after eating dinner I began to feel a slight tightening of my esophagus and mucus production in my throat. My breathing was only slightly difficult for about two hours. Four to six hours later, the severe gout attack began and lasted throughout the night.

I noticed on a few occasions that constipation and symptoms of feeling "under the weather" preceded severe gout attacks, but it's difficult to remain alert to the precursors of gout attacks because they are so subtle as to go unnoticed.

At this moment I am feeling slightly dizzy. I think if I don't put my feet up very soon, my circulation in my legs is slowing down to a point which may allow uric acid crystals to form again in my joints. Here are the sources where I found conflicting information about how to treat gout.

I must rest now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

So what?

So what about me? This blog is supposed to be about me, but I resist writing about myself. Maybe I take for granted my skills and assume that everyone else can do the things I do, and I'm afraid I'll embarrass myself if I brag about something that everyone else takes for granted as well. For example,  I sometimes wonder if my spell-checker is working or not, so I must occasionally test it by deliberately misspel[l]ing words. Yes, it is working, so I must be pretty good at spelling. However, I lose a lot of points on punctuation, grammar and composition. I slack off on my own blogs. I know I shouldn't because I would like to show them as portfolio material.

I recently collected some of my old blog posts and self-published them in a book called "Fred Slocombe's Menagerie of Madness" at No rules applied in that publication. Just a collection of extremely short stories. I often entertain myself with crazy scenarios and conspiracy theories when I'm bored. Some people really think I'm crazy but some of those stories actually are coming true, almost like Nostradamus, but without all the enigmatic quatrains. One story I called "Genetic Weeds" is about a chemical company developing a herbicide alongside a genetically altered weed that could only be destroyed by that specific herbicide, but the weed mutated.

How much of a stretch is it for anyone to read the news and mentally extrapolate the long-term outcome?

I fell in love with photography when I was in the 4th grade. I would get together with friends and we would set up shots like a comic book. Back then we had to send the film all the way to Saint Louis to get developed and it took a few days, but it was fun to finally take the photos and glue them to a sheet of paper to tell stories. That was some time around 1976. Of course as soon as Adobe Photoshop came out I was instantly in love.

Suddenly I'm reminded of all the frustrating interruptions in my life that kept me from doing what I wanted creatively. High school graduation led to the necessity of finding work, which led to joining the Navy, which kept me at a frustrating distance from computers from 1986 to 1990. I'm still angry about it. When I enlisted I already taught myself Applesoft BASIC and was teaching myself Apple Assembly language. By the time my enlistment was up everyone was learning C and I didn't have the time to catch up. I wish I left for Silicon Valley back in 1983.

I'm getting the urge to shift gears right now and take a few more steps toward another major goal I have in the near future. Enough about me for now.