Tuesday, 10 January 2012

BIG toe

The last couple of months have been a bit rubbish for me running wise. Since the Glen Ogle 33 I seem to have had a non-stop conveyor belt of viruses and tummy bugs and generally feeling like crap - not conducive to doing lots of running. From talking to friends and family it sounds like that is quite common when you have a couple of young kids at school - they're constantly bringing new colds and things back home with them. So I only achieved two of the five targets I had set myself for the last four months of 2012 - doing 30 miles in under 4.5 hours and climbing a 6b at the local wall (I managed two, and fluked my way up a 6c) - so I'm carrying the other three forward.

Over the last few days of the year the big toe joint on my left foot got very swollen and incredibly painful, to the point were I really struggled to walk and it would take 5 minutes or so to walk 100m. I'm currently waiting for the results of x-rays and blood tests but my internet self diagnosis has the most likely culprit as being gout. Seems totally unfair if it is since I'm getting all the pain and suffering but without having had the hedonistic lifestyle that commonly causes the affliction.

I've had a bit of pain and stiffness in the joint for about seven years now but the recent attack of gout or whatever it turns out to be was something else and seems to have knackered the joint good and proper. Some strong NSAIDs have thankfully eased the pain and swelling, but right now I have grave doubts as to whether I'll ever be able to run more than a few miles again without some major intervention. There are lumps and bumps all over the joint that I am pretty certain shouldn't be there, and my big toe doesn't have much mobility anymore.

There are changes you can make to your diet to reduce the risk of gout, which mostly seems to be eating lots of foods that give you tremendous wind, so it isn't all bad.


  1. The are effective drugs to cure gout! Ask your doctor about allopurinol and colchicine and while you're at it, ask him why you aren't on them already!

    A recent article in the BMJ highlighted how gout is being generally under treated these days.

  2. Sorry to hear of your problem, Ali. I am no medical expert, so all I can say is that I know what you must be going through and sympathise. Best wishes.

  3. Hope you're back fit soon. Well done on the 6c though!

  4. ouch..but as you say look on the bright side..you'll be wind-assisted..is that allowed?

  5. I like your style. Parp-ahoy! Seriously though, I hope the treatment suggested above works for you.

  6. Ali, I have suffered from gout since I was about 18 (although diagnosed properly at about 25). I'm almost 40 now. Daily Allopurinol and a change of diet should help prevent attacks and NSAIDs will help if and when it hits. Some of the other meds (inc colchicine) tend to make me feel woozy and there are other possible side effects, but it's really up to you and your doctor to find the best way forward.
    Excessive alcohol, dehydration, and repeated impacts seem to be potential triggers for me - not ideal for someone who likes a long day out on the trails followed by a few beers with friends.
    I'll have to have a look for that BMJ article - might be useful.