Selio Solomon is passionate about improving the way Pacific Island men think about what they eat and how much they exercise. His own experiences with gout taught him that lesson the hard way. He talked to us about how painful gout is and the real way to put it behind you for life.
“I found out I had gout in 2005, when I was 33 years old. At first I thought I had sprained my ankle. It got very red and swollen and I couldn’t walk. It was, and remains, the most painful experience I’ve ever had. It was so sore I couldn’t even rest a sheet over the affected area.
When I was first diagnosed with gout I got very depressed about it because I knew my body was breaking down. In my case, it was caused by excessive drinking and bad diet. I also had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, the most concerning thing was that I had a high blood sugar level, but I didn’t realize that until much later.
I already knew quite a bit about gout. A lot of my extended family have been through it. My dad had gout when he was younger and my brother suffers from it on occasions.
My doctor prescribed Allopurinol, which is a very strong antibiotic. It works by reducing the build up of uric acid in the body, which is what causes gout. I had to drink heaps of water while taking it so that I didn’t get kidney stones. Within about three days of taking the drug I would start to get feeling back in my leg.
I suffered from gout a few times in the years it took me to get my body back on track. I’d know it was coming on because I’d get a tingly feeling in the area that was about to be attacked. But I’m happy to say I haven’t suffered from gout at all in the last six years, due to a healthy lifestyle. I eat well and I exercise regularly. I’m actually a gym owner now.
The drugs for gout worked when I really needed them but my major concern was that they were chipping away at my kidneys. The only way to keep the gout away permanently was to change my lifestyle to living a little more healthily. That’s why I wanted to share my story. Because the perception in the pacific community is that you can eat and drink what you like and your body will be ok. And that’s just not the case. There are serious side effects associated with taking strong medications like those for gout, and there are consequences for these actions.
I really hope that by sharing my story it might inspire other men, particularly those in the pacific island community, to understand that having a healthy body is really important, and that means eating healthy food and getting regular exercise. We shouldn’t be letting ourselves suffer from things like gout as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s worth making a change.”
For more information, visit the GOUT section of our website.
Selio before and after