Daily Archives: May 22, 2015

Gout

I have tried to find out more about gout. In my travels I have come across varying opinions. Most sites I checked out said about the same thing as far as uric acid and purines went. Since a couple of days ago when I had an excruciating flareup, I’ve been religious about staying away from salt. Most sites state that meat must be eaten only sparingly if you do eat it. I haven’t had any meat either. I would like to learn more. Tonight I feel a flareup happening again. It’s in my left ankle. Apparently this is a common place for it to occur. I don’t have joint pain nor stiffness, just reddening and swelling, and wicked bad pain in the skin. It turned bright red the other night. I also feel that the skin is warmer in that area. I get headaches with it, too.  Basically, it’s inflammation caused by some kind of accumulation of uric acid in the area simply because the body doesn’t know what to do with the excess. I believe that too much uric acid is also what causes itchiness among people like me with kidney disease. When a person sweats, the sweat stings like a bug bite. Or that’s how I perceive it. I haven’t had that problem for a while.

The literature won’t tell you this, but the best way to relieve itchiness from too much uric acid is to hop into the shower and wash the sweat off. I never got itchy while exercising but it sure bothered me to sit still in the sun. I am thankful that when I was outdoors with my friends, they were always considerably kind, saving the shady spot for me.

I am not bothered by gout while walking or running. They say a flare-up is worst mostly at night. I find this is true. The other night, it hurt so badly that I was unable to sleep all night, and could only sleep in the morning, once the pain had subsided. It hurts so much now that I cannot concentrate.

Myth: “Binge eating, without vomiting, is not a serious concern.” Not true!

Binge eating, by itself, can be very dangerous. The main danger is not overweight, contrary to the literature. Eating a lot of food, no matter how you do it, will certainly cause weight gain. However, binge eating is not the same as overeating.

In some countries, such as the UK, no distinction is made between overeating and binge eating (last I checked). The danger of this is that both the general population and the medical community end up viewing it as gluttony. As a consequence, the sufferer feels more need to hide the problem, and feels even more ashamed than he/she would be otherwise.

So what defines a binge? I personally don’t agree that a binge is self-defined. I’ve been in “treatment” with people who viewed one small sandwich as a binge. I’ve met others who defined “binge” as “going off my diet” or “not following my meal plan.” However, breaking rules when you eat is not a binge. I certainly enjoy breaking rules and busting myths on a daily basis.

A binge, as far as I am concerned, happens when you stuff yourself full and then keep eating until you can barely breathe, until you can stuff no more in. You may feel the food won’t go down anymore due to stomach fullness, and that you are so stuffed that the food can’t move from your esophagus to your stomach. They say the maximum a person can eat and keep down is 15,000 calories, but I am sure that this varies from person to person. To give you an idea of how much that is, a woman my size might eat 1,500 calories a day, or certainly much more if she is active. To lose weight she might eat 1,400 calories. They say under 1,200 isn’t a good idea, especially not for an extended period. Anyone on meds will need to adjust what they eat. Most meds cause deficiencies. I believe patients should be aware of this and eat accordingly, adding vitamins in powder or pill form if absolutely necessary, however, don’t expect to hear that from the average doctor. Either way, if I were to eat 4,000 calories in one day, that would be a lot, too much, and I’d feel terrible afterward. Imagine stuffing oneself, within a short period, much much more than that, and you can imagine what a real binge is.

I don’t buy that binge eating is a feeling. It’s not. It involves consuming actual large quanties. If you only feel it’s too much, but in fact, it isn’t, then to me, it’s not a binge. You may suffer from guilt or shame, but shame in itself isn’t going to harm  you medically. I do not for one minute see shame as “nothing,” since I know that it can certainly affect the way a person lives. Shame could cause a person to not go out or not socialize, or to skip out on occasions such as potluck dinners or a trip to the beach.

My experience, over three decades of it, of dealing with doctors and therapists was that when I spoke of binge eating, they assumed that I was suffering from shame. This wasn’t at all what I was dealing with. I was binge eating so much that the physical discomfort became excruciating. This was what led me to quit school originally.

Doctors either ignored me, or poked fun at me. I felt like I was being treated like I was complaining about one eyebrow hair out of place. They told me, literally, that people with depression and bipolar suffered far more and were more deserving of their concern. This was repeated to me over and over. Can you see where this all led? I was told so many times that my concerns didn’t matter that I ended up lying just to get “care.”

I told them I had insomnia. This was entirely true. Of course, after a binge, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t do anything but lie in bed and moan occasionally. I had to stay in bed all day after a binge simply because walking or even sitting in a chair was impossible. Not that lying down was comfortable. Any position I lay in was painful for me.

No one knew that this was going on. I wasn’t trying to keep it secret, it was just that the therapists and doctors I saw generally changed the subject whenever I tried to explain. I believe what was happening to me made them uncomfortable just to hear about it.

Don’t you hate it when therapists get like that, when they can’t emotionally handle your issues? I’ve heard this from many people, that they cannot get to the core of what is happening to them in these therapy sessions, since the therapist herself isn’t emotionally equipped to hear it. This shouldn’t be the case since we pay these people. I realize now that speaking to a person who has really been through it all is far more helpful than any “therapist.”

My very first therapist wasn’t the avoidant type, as most are. I liked that about her. But she had no clue that I had an eating disorder. Remember, it was 1981, so there was no knowledge in the field of ED. After I got to day treatment, I fonnd that the therapists had multiple issues of their own and were hardly equipped to deal with ours. I remember I brought up the fact that I was in a cult (the Moonies) to one therapist, and he immediately shut me down saying I probablly wasn’t in a cult. I never said another word about it. They also didn’t want to hear about the abuse I’d been through in high school. I give them credit for at least acknowledging it, though. After that, the therapists I saw got very uncomfortable whenever I brought it up, so I stopped talking about it. Those were very serious issues, and had I dealt with them when I should have, perhaps the trauma part of what was happening to me would have been resolved. Therapy then got worse and worse as the years went on, and less effective.

I began to speak more of the insomnia, since I figure this might make them listen. I lied and said I was “anxious” but many therapists saw through that. I was then called a faker and attention-seeking. But hey, that’s what I was truly asking for. Their time and attention to a very serious matter that was being ignored.

After years and years of my ED being ignored, even if my weight was low, I started to see myself differently. I saw myself as depressed. If anyone asked, I had “depression.” Meanwhile, I hid my eating disorder, simply because no one gave a shit anyway.

If you can’t stop binge eating early on, you will continue to binge into middle age and then, your senior years, if you are stil alive. When a person is older, the risks become more serious. Older people end up with various health problems that require a precribed diet. You can’t follow such a diet if you suffer from binge eating. This is where it begins to become more dangerous.

The risk of stomach rupture is far higher than doctors want to admit. I even had a doctor who insisted that if anyone ate as much as I did, their bodies would react by throwing  up. For many of us, this isn’t true. I am one of those rare people who didn’t even throw up from half a bottle of Ipacac, which I once took out of desperation, back in the days when it was around. My dad always said I had an “iron stomach.” Guess so! Stomch rupture will kill you very fast. It isn’t talked about, but yes, it happens. For a long time, I was terrified that this would happen to me.

If you are a suffer, and really want to speak with someone about this debilitatiing problem, you might want to find a person who has been there. Otherwise, how can these “therapists” possibly understand? They might say, “Go back on your meal plan.” Of course, this isn’t helpful. Truth is, they don’t even have real answers anyway. Sad to say, some people feel so hopeless that they will ever stop that they just give up.

The DSM does binge eaters a disservice, by not making a distinction between a real and perceived binge. So when a person gets diagnosed, they might feel good about the acknowledgement, only to find out that their very serious binge eating is taken very lightly, with focus on shame. Since psychiatry and therapy are not the answer and these people are clueless as to how to help, the sufferer is told over and over that he/she is exaggerating or that it’s simply a matter of perception. While it’s true that for some, it is, but for many of us, our concerns get further shoved aside, as mine were for decades.

In the end, I solved the problem on my own. This took extensive experimentation that I could only begin once I refused to allow “doctors” to run my life. I realized that the system, and the media too, encourages worship of doctors. If you have heard on TV, “Ask your doctor,” you know this is all part of the coercion. Why should I get “doctor permission” for something I do related to my own body and no one else’s? So I had to ditch that thinking. They aren’t gods. I solved the problem nutritionally. I wish I had done this decades ago instead of going through all the hell I endured.

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