Sunday, 15 May 2016

Diet Update Week 15 – Mixed Blessings

It's been awhile since I posted an update, this blog has temporarily been relegated to the furthest back of back burners (it has always been a low priority).
The good news is that I hit my target of 117kg about a month ago, my reading on Wednesday, on a brand new set of scales put me at 114.9kg. My next visit to the consultant is this coming Tuesday morning so it will be interesting to see what the hospital scales say (I also have a session with my GP in the afternoon). 115kg seems a bit too good to be true. Although I'm pretty much sticking to my diet, I've started allowing myself a little more leeway such as treating myself to chocolate a couple of times a week post-Easter fast. I've also tended to drink less alcohol lately as I'm worried it could be aggravating recent gout attacks, although I've been a moderate drinker for years so it's probably negligible in terms of calories removed from my diet.   
The bad news is that my general heath has been pretty rubbish for about two months now. Over Easter I had bout of flu, and I'm not talking about "man-flu", on Easter Sunday I crawled in to bed at about 5pm with a full on fever. This is despite the annual flu jab late last year. I never get flu, but this year it hit me like a locomotive. It took weeks to fully get over it, even after the worst had passed I went through several weeks of feeling run down, tired and lethargic. The mucus cough wouldn't shift, I couldn't sleep properly, I experienced ear infections and temporary deafness.
The next problem has been a chronic attack of gout that has lasted for over three weeks now, albeit with fluctuating levels of intensity. First in my right foot and currently in my right foot. I haven't allowed it to stop me, but it has been terrible for mobility, I've had to reduce my morning walks partly to manage pain and partly because I was taking too long to get to the office. I made a decision last week to temporarily suspend my water tablet (and consequently the sodium bicarbonate it's intended to counteract), I'm fairly certain this didn't cause the attack, but it's probably prolonging it as raised uric acid levels are a common side effect. It hasn't helped that I've exhausted the stash of colchicine I brought back from Turkey last summer, I'm not a big advocate of 'self-medication' but I stick to the usage limits and it's very handy when a Turkish pharmacy will sell you 50 tablets for £2 without a prescription (an NHS prescription 12 tablets for £8.40, but getting a convenient appointment is the difficult part).
I can spot the signs that gout is impending but I've never been able to work out the trigger, if indeed there is any one specific trigger. This time I noticed that the initial flare up came after eating a meal containing chorizo sausage, and there was a noticeable spike in pain the two weeks later when I ate chorizo again. However, I've eaten chorizo many times without getting gout, there are probably other commonalities I've missed, and there have been other spikes in this current attack where chorizo is nowhere to be seen. It’s all a bit mystifying, I’ll have plenty of things to talk about with the docs next week.

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