Monday, October 20, 2014

YOU WILL SURVIVE AND THRIVE!...

Once again I am teaming together with Stephen Tremp, our own Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the lovely, L. Diane Wolfe for another very important blogfest about HEALTH!

As many of you remember our HEALTH Blogfest in May of 2013 was a HUGE success, so Stephen approached us this time with a really
important theme...

THE SURVIVE AND THRIVE BLOGFEST!



The Survive and Thrive Bloghop is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages.

Our desire is to motivate people to go in for early screening, and if a condition is caught early and treated, then our world just became a little better place to live.

The topics are wide open.You can post about a particular cause you support. Or you can share a personal or family experience that is near to your heart. What’s great about this Blogfest is you can inspire people to take care of themselves and their loved ones early enough to make a difference in their lives.

As you can see this is something we ALL need to do. Our health is our MOST PRECIOUS commodity...NEVER take it for granted. And pre testing is the best prevention. ESPECIALLY those of you with children. They NEED YOU. Who be there for them if anything happens to you? By taking the necessary precautions now, you will never have to even think about what a tragedy that would be. Isn't that reason enough?

As many of you know may not know, I was hit down in my early thirties with crippling arthritis. It started out with just aching joints from time to time. I ignored it mostly. Too active with my career to give it a second thought. It didn't have time. Arthritis is for old people, certainly not me. WRONG. Even children can be inflicted with arthritis. There are several types. Rheumatoid, which is autoimmune and degenerative, striking at any age... Osteoarthritis which is generally from injury and age... and one that really isn't to commonly known as arthritis: Gout. Most people have heard of it, but generally think it's just a flare up in the bunion part of the toe. It's commonly known as the "Rich man's disease." But if this is undetected and not taken care of properly it can eat away at your joints, cartilage, and can even enter into your organs. It is caused by too much uric acid... this acid forms like shards of glass and collects in the joints, causing excruciating pain. I should know. this is what I suffer from. 

Thankfully it has been under control. But it took almost two decades for me to walk properly again. I made the mistake of trying to cure it holistically. Yes, mistake. I am a HUGE believer in holistic medicine, but it can't cure everything. I spent a year with a Kinesiologist, which is a holistic doctor/chiropractor. He meant well, but my condition worsened in time, to the point where I couldn't walk and I was bedridden. My legs had atrophied so badly that I couldn't even stand on them. And bent to where I couldn't even straighten them. 

I was living in Las Vegas and decided to move back to Florida to get help. I found an orthopedic sports doctor who chastised me for over two hours for not going to a medical doctor. I could have avoided all the pain and damage just by taking one pill. At that time my uric acid levels were so high, over 13, and 5 is normal. Need I say more. 

The doctor prescribed  three medications. One heavy duty pill to flush out the uric acid. There were traces even in my kidneys and intestines. Two years it took to flush it all away. By that point I lost 45 percent of the cartilage in my knees. I had a ten degree bend in my legs. I walked like a hunchback because I couldn't straighten my legs at all. 

I did have some physical therapy, but it really didn't work. It took many years(fifteen) of walking and stretching finally got my legs built back up and they are almost straight. But the damage in the joints is there. As long as I move, i'm okay, but I can;t stand in one spot for more than a few minutes. I always have to keep in motion. It's something that I had to learn to live with.

The arthritis is spreading into all my joints. Now in my wrists and fingers. Not fun. But it's better to move them through through typing. Any injuries I've had in the past are now targets for this uric acid I seem to produce in abundance. The ironic thing is i don't drink or eat rich foods which does trigger these attacks.

So if any of you have ANY kind of joint pain, find out what's wrong. Rheumatoid can be very, very bad. Have it checked. Almost anyone who has suffered and injury at some point will have osteoarthritis. Keep your muscles strong around the joint to alleviate the pressure upon them.

If you have arthritis in your knees or ankles. You must make a lifestyle change. Exercise is key, and losing the extra pounds. Any additional weight on your joints will inflame them.

There are also vitamins you could take which helps tremendously and may prevent further joint damage. 

Many of you will have heard of these:

  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Glucosamine sulfate
But also try these: But do consult with your doctor or nutritionist first. Some supplements may have unwanted side effects and many can counteract some of your medication. Make SMART choices.

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D3
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Omega-3
  • Green tea
Other options:
  • SAMe
  • MSM
  • Stinging nettle
  • Bromelain
  • Vitamin E
  • Devil's claw

Next, stay away from foods that will inflame the joints. The "Anti inflammatory Diet/Wellness diet is a great place to start.... eat foods rich in Omega three fatty acids.

Heres the link to  ANTI INFLAMMATORY DIET by Audrey Jones. I researched Amazon's collection and found this book has a five star rating and it's only 2.99. Eating right helps not only for arthritis but for many other ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain. Eating right can prevent so many illnesses and there are so many different ways to eat healthy and enjoy your food too!

Four years ago I had changed my lifestyle. I cut out processed foods, refined sugar, and starches. Let me just say, I lost eighty-five pounds and I've never felt better. No one believes my age and I have tons of energy. This is something we can ALL DO. 

So remember to step away from your computers... and keep moving and eating healthy snacks!

Okay... I am done. You know what you have to do... drop down to the linky below and join in the Blogfest!

Have a wonderful and HEALTY day everyone!

88 comments:

  1. Something I never would've considered either. Sorry you suffered so long from it.
    Honored to co-host with you!

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  2. Michael, how terrible! You wouldn't know it to look at you now - you're the picture of health.

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    1. I work very hard at it, Diane. It's a constant battle.

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  3. Oh Michael. I knew you had arthritis, but didn't know it was Gout. You have no idea how timely this post is for me. Today - yes today, this afternoon actually - I meet with my RA doctor for the first time. Three years ago I was diagnosed with Raynaud's - simply put: arteries over-sensitivity to the cold or dampness, causing them to close up. Anyway, along with that over the past three years, I've had progressively worsening joint aches and even some swelling in my wrists, ankles, shoulders, and hips. No test has definitively diagnosed me with RA yet, but my Raynaud's specialist thinks it's that or some form. I'm at the point where I don't care if it's RA. I just want to know and move forward. Thanks so much for posting this. It's very helpful. ((Hugs))

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    1. Glad to help, Sheri. I hope you testing turns out well and that you can relieve your pain right away. It's not fun to be in constant pain. I was there and I never want to go back.

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  4. Michael, I never knew gout was a form of arthritis. I have joint issues, mostly caused by over use so I understand what your pain. When I was 35 my orthopedic surgeon told me my one knee looked like it was 75. Keep moving, my friend.

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    1. Many people don't, Susan, that is why I posted about it. Take care of that knee....

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  5. My grandfather had gout. It's so debilitating. Even if a bed sheet were to touch the affected area, he'd scream out in pain. Arthritis also runs in my family, and my joints are achy with temperature/weather changes. I'll probably have to see a specialist soon. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Jay,

      I've been there, I remember those days when a sheet was sheer torture... I'll never forget it.

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  6. I had no idea it was a form of arthritis! And I had no idea you suffered from it. (((hugs)))

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    1. Sadly, yes, Heather. I don't speak of it often. It was a tragic time in my life and I wish I could forget it.

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  7. Hi Michael! That was some post. Thanks for sharing. When I worked in EMS I had several patients who suffered from gout and it was painful to watch them. Even trying to carry them down in the stair chair was difficult because they felt everything.

    I'm glad you're doing so much better. You look amazing in your picture; I'd never think you suffered from anything, let alone something as painful as that. Hugs. Eva

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    1. Thanks Eva! I take very good care of myself these days. I watch everything I eat and make sure to take my meds. But it is a constant battle.

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  8. Micheal, thanks soooo much for sharing this information. It's been an education. Need to print this out and show it to a friend of mine who's been having unexplained joint pain for ages. Thanks again. It's wonderful that you guys planned this blogfest. I'm learning with each stop I make.

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    1. Thanks Joy,

      I hope this information helps you friend.

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  9. Thanks for the post about such a debilitating disease. I'm so sorry you had to go through so much suffering before you fouond relief. My father-in-law suffered from gout for years. For him, the medicine was almost worse than the pain. My husband has had bouts of it on and off. Fortunately, the medicine the doctor prescribed didn't have the same side effects. Your advice on healthy eating and staying active is so true.

    Thanks for hosting this event.

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    1. Hi, Diane,

      Thanks for dropping by. Yes, gout is extremely painful and sometimes the side effects from the medication can be aweful. Thankfully the one I am on has no side effects.

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about the struggles you face. Many of my family members suffer from severe arthritis, so it's something I'm trying to be careful about. And thank you for hosting this amazing event. It's important that people take care of their bodies - we only have one and we need to listen to it.

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    1. So true, S.L! We do have to listen to them.

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  11. Sorry to hear about all of your health difficulties. It's good that you were diagnosed when you were and are now working on the issue. Eighty-five pounds? That's a lot. I know I weigh more than I should, but I don't need to lose that much--I think that might leave me too gaunt. I wouldn't mind losing maybe 45 pounds, but I'm not doing much about that.

    Good luck with your future health regimen. I wish you all the best. Frankly, I'm surprised to hear your story since in your pictures you always look so radiant and healthy.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Thanks, Lee.

      Overall I am very healthy now. But for a long time I wasn't. That shows you how resilient our bodies can be.

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  12. I understand your pain. My husband has rheumatoid arthritis and I have Ehlers-Danlos which is rare. I don't swell and major exercise is a no-no. I am so happy you got the right medicine and have made wonders with walking and getting some of your groove back. It just goes to show how persistence and a positive outlook helps

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    1. So true, Birgit. A positive attitude always helps. I was also young, so I had to a fight back. Too many years to live with such pain.

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  13. Wow! What a power packed post! I'm Bookmarking this one. Inflammation comes in lots of forms and is the cause of a lot of health problems including arthritis. I need to go back to an anti-inflammatory diet as this really helps purge the body of toxins and other trouble making things that can affect organs, skin, and other parts of our body.

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    1. Eating healthy really does help Stephen. That and exercise are key elements to a healthy life.

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  14. It sounds like you're being as proactive in your health care as anyone can be. Here's to continued improvement, Michael.

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    1. Thanks, Lee. It's the way we have to live if we want to stay healthy and live pain free.

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  15. Hi Michael .. I knew it was arthritis, but hadn't realised the gout connection ... this is a great informative post. I am pleased that you've learnt to cope with it - and I know you take care of you ... but it's obviously still very challenging ...

    This is a great idea - so pleased about the blog hop - it's Lenny's birthday today .. so he came first ... I'll do my post in a day or two ..

    Great information we're being given by all the participants I've read so far .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary,

      I'll look forward to reading it.

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  16. I know a lady who had gout...not fun at all! Glad you got yours under control and I totally agree about the eating healthy thing. It can cure/prevent so much, yet we continue to shovel unhealthy things into our bodies.

    Eating healthy isn't alway easy but, and in keeping with your blog.....in time...in time :)

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    1. It sure is a battle. With so much temptation on tasty goodies it is VERY difficult to ignore them. But I keep trying...

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  17. Blogger keeps wiping my comments. . .I had had a bone density scan - full body - due to becoming lactose intolerant (which I manage with small amounts of good dairy and avoid the rich). My results showed the bone density of someone half my age or more. My doctor attributed it to doing weight bearing exercises like walking, weight training, etc and eating properly. I also took calcium at the time.

    I do still feel occasionally the pangs of arthritis in my hands, which is common on my dad's side of the family. I will think of acupuncture if it gets any worse, as that helped my MIL immensely when she had a terrible onset of it in her seventies. She was totally cured and it never came back (we have a large Chinese medical community here in Vancouver). I don't want my hands to become stiff as my interests are drawing, writing, sewing and other hand type activities.

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    1. Great that you keep in such good shape D. G. Wonderful news about your bone density! NO osteoporosis for you!

      Thanks for the tip about acupuncture... I have arthritis in my hand too. I had tried it when I had my severe gout attacks and it didn't help, but with my medication and that may work....

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  18. I didn't know you could get arthritis so young. I'm glad you found the real reason why it was happening in your body. Thanks for the great post.

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    1. Yes, even children can get arthritis, Clarissa. it's an aweful malady. Kids have such a rough time with it because they are so active. and want to jump around and play.

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  19. Michael, you're such an amazing health advocate. You certainly helped me immensely after my breast cancer diagnosis. I commend you for all you do to help others. (((Hugs))) for you always, my friend.

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    1. Thanks Susan! I try. I believe in helping others who are in pain. And would do anything to help them relieve that pain.

      SO HAPPY your ordeal ended on a positive note. I was only too happy to help you through that rough time in your life!

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  20. I had no idea you'd been through such a debilitating ordeal--you are such the picture of health anymore--you look and move a lot younger than your age (which I won't tell). But definitely a big life lesson on addressing stuff SOONER rather than putting it off.

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    1. Thanks Hart. It is so true. We definitely need to keep on top of our health.

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  21. I'm so sorry about the terrible arthritis. I have some joint pain, and I'm dealing with it. I also had a mammogram and a colonoscopy within the last couple of months.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Good for you, Janie. Keep testing and stay healthy! Keep moving for the joint pain. It does help relieve the pain.

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  22. So sorry you had to suffer so much with this. And yes, sadly natural treatments don't cure everything.

    That's awesome how you changed your diet. I don't eat perfect, but I try to eat as healthy as I can and have cut out lots of carbs that make me pick up weight. And I'm a vegetarian except for fish.

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    1. Great, Natalie,

      Eating healthy is so good. Cutting carbs and refined sugars is the way to live. Fish is an excellent source of Omega three fatty acids so keep on eating lots of fresh fish.

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  23. Okay this is one of the most informative posts I came across on this hop. I didn't join but I'm learning and taking in advice. My dad has gout & have seen him at his worst. I'm sorry you've suffered with it, but glad you fought and continue to fight your way through it. Yes, we can all do it! Very encouraging. Go Michael! :)


    S.K. Anthony: Time Management Tips

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    1. Thanks S.K.

      I hope some of this information will help your dad feel better!

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  24. A very informative post. I am glad to hear you found help .

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  25. lots of information and indeed, I have an elderly aunt who has gout. Thus it's in my family history. Awareness is important along with early treatment. I tend to be a "power through it" type of person, but sometimes you just have to get the right meds. Glad you are doing so well.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne.

      I power through it too. But one can only take so much before we need to get help and change our lifestyle to feel better.

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  26. You've had a rough time, but thankfully you're getting better. I didn't know all of this. I do know that eating healthy is very important. Here's to continued improvement and good health for you.

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  27. I like to eat - hmm, missed a word there :)

    I am glad you are so much healthier Michael. Its odd that our diets could affect many illnesses. I have hypothyroidism, and there is a lot of foods that can affect the symptoms, both negatively and positively. I've been researching eating properly for a while.

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    1. Glad to hear it Donna. I want you to be around for a LONG, LONG time!

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  28. Glad to hear you and the doctors have it figured out! Arthritis is not a lot of fun! Take care!!

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  29. Thanks, Jemi. Diet and exercise played a huge part in my recovery. You can't give into the pain and let it rule your life.

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  30. First, thank you for hosting this blog hop.

    I'm not at all against holistic care, as I've had some very positive experiences with holistic doctors. But I've learned it's okay to try something else if something isn't working. Years ago, I consulted with a holistic specialist for an issue. There was no progress, and in fact, I almost felt I was getting worse. The holistic specialist did scold me for eventually seeing a medical doctor, which I thought was ridiculous, considering how little he had helped me. The medical doctor got to the root of the problem right away.

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  31. That sounds terribly painful. :( Glad you were able to get help and improve things over the years, but it must have felt hopeless there for awhile.

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  32. I also had no idea you suffered from debilitating arthritis and gout. I'm proud of you for battling it out for so many years, and making a huge lifestyle change! Eighty-five pounds is practically an entire person! You're also staying in great shape by going on long walks. I couldn't believe how far you walked on the day we met, and we both raved about how young you look! Wishing you continued good health Michael, and thanks for hosting this enlightening bloghop!

    Julie

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  33. Wow, been through the ringer indeed. I had the acid thing, burnt down my back when I ate anything remotely acidic, sucked a ton. Glad you still carried on and are doing great. Things can be turned around we just have to find what works for us.

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  34. A great idea for a blogfest - there's nothing more important than our health and we mustn't neglect it! I'm glad yours is on track now.
    For the benefit of others who might be reading, gout can also be a symptom of kidney disease. You mustn't ignore these signs!

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  35. Athritis is really bad! My father has it and he sometimes cries out in pain. I'm glad you're better now. Taking care of our health must always be our top priority.

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  36. I'm so sorry to hear about your ordeal. My daughter has JRA, but we are fortunate that it has not affected her movement. It's amazing how so many different medical ailments (kidney stones, arthritis, acid reflux) keep pointing us to the same healthy diet of fruits, veggies, lower salt, no sugar.

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  37. Wow, that sounds terrible, I'm so glad you finally found out how to treat it. I also prefer holistic cures and prevention through proper diet and exercise, but sometimes you have to go to a real doc! Glad you're better now!

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  38. I have a friend whose had arthritis since she was a teen. It's so painful. I'm sorry you suffered so long, but it sounds like you are doing much better.

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  39. I'm more inspired and in awe of you than ever before, Michael. I had no idea you'd been challenged by this chronic painful nightmare of an ordeal. I'm very glad you have it under control and that it's not all-consuming. You're a man of strength and heart. Thank you for co-hosting and for sharing this important information. Broad hugs!

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  40. Chronic illness of any kind is no fun. I've dealt with chronic conditions for the past eight years and I have finally got them under control. It was a LONG road and battle, one I have to fight daily in order to stay on top of, but worth it. I'm thankful, I truly am. I'm sorry you've had to endure chronic pain. It's awful especially when it hinders something you love to do, like writing. I'm so glad to hear that you're on the other side of it! Thank you for sharing this! Great blog-hop!

    ~Jen

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  41. Wow, you had a long road to get back to being healthy. I also concur with you about holistic medicine. My feeling is that we have to explore what sort of medicine is going to work best and not make rash judgements that have no basis in fact. Holistic medicine can cure diseases, but so can traditional. We just need to make smart, informed choices.

    Oh, and I can certainly attest to how young you look!

    :)

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  42. As a not-too-old-to-change overweight grandmother with arthritic knees, this post is a great call to action. Thank you.

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  43. Wow. You look so healthy (and gorgeous) in your pictures, I would have never guessed. Great post, Michael.

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  44. Well take care. That is so serious.

    I have old age arthritis and am not amused. :)

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  45. This is truly important and useful information, Michael. Thank you. Maybe I should look into that doctor checkup that I've been putting off for the last five years after all. :)

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  46. Michael, I cringed reading your story and feeling your pain. I suffer from mild arthritis, and I can only imagine the intense pain you were in, and continue to battle. What a great post and great advice!!!!

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  47. Michael, I'm sorry that you had to deal with so much pain. Thank you for sharing this important information.

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  48. Great post, Michael. Very informative and helpful. I'm sorry to hear you suffered so much for so long. I'm glad to hear things are better now that you know how best to manage your health.

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  49. Oh yeah! I think people don't realize how debilitating arthritis can be. And as you said, most don't even think that it's possible to get it young.

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  50. Michael: I saw this post too late to enter the bloghop. However, I think it is a great one. My wife and I came from New Hampshire, where the weather is conducive to arthritis. My wife was an avid golfer, but when she began having difficulty with her grip, she sought medical attention. She was diagnosed with arthritis in her hands. Two months later, we moved to Florida, where she is just fine. Her condition lessened drastically and she does what is necessary to keep it that way. There is always hope if you tend to your health.

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  51. Michael, you are easily one of the most inspiring people I know… the stories you have… they're incredible… you've lived through SO MUCH. And persevered with such strength. And you can still see so much beauty and magic in life… I'm so glad I know you and so glad I get to be your friend!!!

    Thank you for sharing more of your story with us. It's quite the tale! And you have SO much knowledge to share with us. You could honestly write a biography and it would be gripping and heart wrenching and intense and beautiful. Loved all of this. You're so remarkable.

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  52. Michael, I feel with you on this one and know the excruciating pain that accompanies gout. My husband is a suffer and has been having particular problems this year. His uric acid levels were high and it was causing some kidney problems too. Like you he is NOT the typical person you would associate with suffering from gout. He is not overweight, leads an active life and doesn't over indulge. But tell anyone you're condition is gout and the usual remark is laughter or a comment about drinking too much etc! We have looked into diet and possible triggers but it is hard but so far we are wining.

    Thank you for helping to raise awareness and sharing your story.

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  53. What an inspiring story! It sounds like you also live a very healthy lifestyle which helps in so many ways. I had to write about inflammation recently and it was amazing to me how even the foods we eat impact it. I had no idea!

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  54. Thanks for sharing with us, Michael. I had no idea you suffer with gout.
    I've always been under the impression that gout is linked directly to excessive red meat and high alcohol consumption...
    Eating habits and lifestyle are sooooo important, especially today with the highly processed and genetically modified foods that we consume...
    The way things are going, a vegetarian-based lifestyle seems like the answer...but I DO like my chicken and fish...
    Stay well!
    Here's to continued good health!

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    1. I almost forgot - thank you for co-hosting the bloghop!

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  55. I have early osteoarthritis. A few of my fingers are getting the tell tale bit of crookedness. I take most of the supplements, but quit with the fish oil because of the after flavor. Maybe it's worth it to keep taking it.

    Glad you're better! And I agree, some things can't be treated holistically.

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  56. what great tips my dear shorts man!! sorry to hear you went through such a struggle :( in the end, it made you stronger.

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  57. I do a lot with green tea and ginger. I've had a friend - who works at a health food store - been helping me figure out things which will help with my stomach issues. Green tea was one of the ones which help the most.

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  58. Joint pain sucks! I blew out my knee while preparing for a talent show in seventh grade. Throughout my school years, it was injured THREE more times. Now I have to wear a stabilizer to keep it in check.

    Oh well, at least it can predict the weather! LOL

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I'm so glad you're better now. :)

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  59. Good to hear that you are doing well now. That's a really striking story!

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