Shirley has had gout for around fifteen years. She take allopurinol as a preventative medication, which keeps it under control. Gout is not a priority for Shirley as she has other health conditions.
Shirley’s gout began 15 years ago, with pains that she first thought were chilblains. She suspected it might be gout but thought it was a disease of old men. However, her GP diagnosed it as gout, when her foot had become very red and swollen. She was given medication that cleared up the attack and then now takes daily allopurinol as a long-term preventative.
She is happy to continue taking allopurinol, as it keeps the gout under control, apart from an occasional twinge in her toe. She feels that, since the first attack, her gout has not had much of an impact on her life. Shirley tries to drink plenty of water and avoids citrus fruits but is not sure whether this actually helps or not.
Shirley has other health problems. Last time she was in hospital she thinks that she wasn’t given her allopurinol and remembers getting some twinges in her toes, but this stopped once she re-started the allopurinol. Shirley trusts her doctor to check for any possible interactions between the different medications she is taking.
Shirley doesn’t see gout as being a big part of her life, preferring to just get on with things. She would want doctors to reassure other people that it is a condition that can be lived with.