}

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Settling a dietary question – maybe

I seem to have settled a dietary question: I really can't have mushrooms. That’s a pity, because I like them, but at least I can be pretty sure I’m doing the right thing in avoiding them.

I've avoided mushrooms for years because they're supposed to be a trigger for gout. For the same reason, I've avoided beans, pulses and legumes. But over the past year or so, I began to wonder how true those old admonitions are. In November last year, I posted “Information contraindication”, in which I talked about the huge confusion over what is and isn’t good for people with gout.

The reason this has remained unsettled for me is that, unfortunately, the only way to find out for sure is to try some of the “forbidden” food and see what happens. That means courting a gout attack, which isn’t an easy thing to contemplate.

This past Friday, we had pizza for our takeaway night, and one of them had mushrooms, which I deliberately ignored. As is my custom, I had the leftover pizza for breakfast yesterday morning. This morning I woke up with gout pain in my foot that wasn’t severe, but bad enough that I needed to take pain relief.

Last week I’d had a mild attack in a different joint in the same foot, an attack that was pretty much done by yesterday. As I mentioned in passing in a post in May of last year, having something gout-related going on seems to make it easier to get another gout attack in that area of the body. In May of last year, I’d had aches in a joint that might have made me more prone to an attack when I injured the joint. This time, I was getting over a mild attack when I ate the mushrooms, so maybe they wouldn’t have bothered me if I hadn’t already been dealing with a mild attack. Still, I can’t always know the extent to which I might be vulnerable, so it appears to make sense to avoid mushrooms at all times. However, all those equivocations are why I can only say I’m “pretty sure” I’m doing the right thing in avoiding mushrooms.

Which still leaves questions about beans and the like. I still think that a largely vegetarian diet might be beneficial for me, but I’m even more reluctant to find out now than I was before. Still, when I get past this mild attack, and am less likely to be scared of causing pain, I may try it and see what happens.

Right now, though, getting past this attack is my only goal. Making myself the subject of my own medical experimentation can definitely wait.

Photo above is a detail from a photo by Max Straeten provided and licensed by Morguefile.

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