Val has had three attacks of gout in her big toe joint. She is unable to wear the shoes she used to wear before she had gout. Val takes 300mg of allopurinol every day, but does not feel confident that her gout is completely under control.

Val had three attacks of gout in her big toe joint within eight weeks. She woke up one morning last year with a burning, throbbing pain in her foot. Her big toe joint was very red, hot and swollen. Val could not believe how bad the pain and discomfort were, but immediately realised that she had gout. Val’s mother and father were both diagnosed with gout when they were in their 50s. Her father’s story is particularly memorable to Val because he had to come home on the aeroplane from a holiday abroad wearing a slipper because he could not get his shoe on. He felt so embarrassed that he never went abroad again in case he got an attack when he was away. Now that Val has had gout herself, she wishes that she had given her parents more sympathy when she was younger, but at the time she did not realise how bad the pain was.

When her first attack started she visited her GP who prescribed colchicine. Val took colchicine for a while but it gave her bad diarrhoea and nausea, and she reached a point where she felt she could no longer continue taking it. Val then had another attack of gout and went back to see her GP. The GP prescribed 300mg of allopurinol for Val to take every day. Val then had a third attack of gout and her GP sent her for blood tests which showed that her uric acid levels were high. Val’s GP told her to continue taking allopurinol for the rest of her life.

Val has tried to reduce the amount of red meat she eats, but finds it difficult to make major changes in her diet because of the food preferences that the rest of her family have. She remembers her father having cider vinegar because he believed that it helped with his gout. Val tried taking it but found that it upset her stomach.

Gout affected Val’s walking and stopped her from driving during attacks. Housework and cooking for the family was also difficult. She could not bear to have a sheet touching her foot in bed and the pain stopped her from sleeping. Val could not get any of her shoes on so at one point she had to walk to her local shops in her slippers. After Val’s attacks of gout, her foot has not returned to its previous shape. She has had to buy new shoes in a larger size, and can no longer wear the shoes that she would like to.

Val sometimes feels embarrassed about having gout because she thinks that people will assume it is caused by alcohol. In actual fact, Val has not had an alcoholic drink for 17 years because she had Pancreatitis three times and was told not to drink alcohol again.

Sometimes Val feels that another attack of gout might be starting in her toe joint. She does not feel confident that her gout is under control, and wonders if she should be taking a higher dose of allopurinol. She would welcome regular reviews with her GP to discuss the management of her gout.

Val found it difficult to sleep during an attack. She could not bear the duvet touching her foot. Turning over also caused pain.

Gender Female

Val felt that having gout, and not being able to wear the shoes she wanted to, made her feel older and less feminine.

Gender Female

Val would find regular reviews reassuring. She asked her GP to adjust her repeat prescription so that she didn’t have to renew it as frequently.

Gender Female

Val wished that she had been more sympathetic towards her parents. Being diagnosed helped her to understand how bad it had been for them.

Gender Female

Val felt fed up about getting gout on top of her other conditions, all in the same month that she injured her neck.

Gender Female