Young man diagnosed with gout at 18 – I’ve never experienced pain like it

Gout: Dr. Rosemary Leonard advises on symptoms and treatment

Only 16 at the time, another player stepped on his foot, and while it was painful at that moment, Matt continued to experience pain for “weeks and weeks”.

“Getting an actual diagnosis for my pain was quite a long process,” said Matt.

“Some of the doctors thought it was a blood clot, while others thought it might be tendonitis.”

Two years later, however, Matt learned he had kidney disease and the doctors informed him that he also had gout.

“This was the stage of my life where I was finishing school and heading into university,” Matt recalled.

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“I didn’t know what would happen with my future,” Matt shared. “At the time I was very sporty and I worried I wouldn’t be able to continue my football.”

Gout, Matt said, is an “invisible” disability, meaning many people won’t know that he has gout – a form of arthritis.

“For me, my arthritis comes in powerful, acute flare-ups with very little pain in between,” said Matt.

“I wish more people understood that at any moment, for any reason, a flare-up could begin and last between two and 10 weeks.

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“When it happens, it’s all-consuming. I’ve never experienced pain like it.

“It feels like someone’s tying a tight string around my ankle and pulling really tightly.”

Matt said when his gout flares up, he “can’t do anything” as it “takes over” his life.

“Because of my kidney disease, I’m strictly only allowed specific kinds of medication, like paracetamol,” Matt revealed.

“[This] means my ways of managing the pain during a flare-up are quite limited.”

Yet, Matt – now in his 30s – has learned how to manage his condition via diet and activity.

Matt cut out high-purine foods, such as red meat and fish and exercises frequently.

“I now haven’t had a flare-up for seven to eight years,” Matt beamed.

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