Patient came in today reporting recurring monthly episodes of gout causing such intense pain that she has to go to the ER and get treated ASAP.
Her diet is impeccable without the typical deli meats which so many gout sufferers consume regularly.
I had to find a link and am considering the fact that her commonly prescribed loop diuretic drug, hydrochlorothiazide, is causing her gout.
According to the standard medical bible, Merck Manual, hydrochlorothiazide may cause hyperuricemia...which is...gout. Hydrochlorothiazide also increases glucose intolerance which a diabetic definitely does not need. And while we're at it, we may as well add that it causes low blood potassium levels which she also has.
Folks - when you wonder what your symptoms are caused from always consider your prescribed medications AND the over-the-counter medications like Sudafed, Aspirin, Prilosec OTC, and so on.
I find time and time again that the symptoms reported by the patients I see are caused by the medications they are on.
This does not mean you stop taking the meds. It means you go to the physician who prescribed the medications to you and politely ask, "Doc, please look at the medications I am taking and see if they are causing any of my symptoms. If they are, let's see if there is another medication that I may use instead."
There are natural potential alternatives to hydrochlorothiazide. Depending on the dose and on the patient, dandelion leaf and parsley root are known for their diuretic effects.
But she may not even need a diuretic if we are able to find the cause of her high blood pressure. Maybe she has high stress in her life (ding - she does), maybe she has low potassium which is known to trigger high blood pressure (ding - she does), maybe she has low magnesium which is known to trigger high blood pressure (she's stressed so yes she does have low magnesium)......
Sometimes the symptoms, ie. side effects, of meds cannot be helped as life and death are on the line.
However, in my patient's case, it is not life or death. She is going to have a chat with her prescribing doc.
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