To quote Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump;

Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it.

Thank you, Bubba. I too, like shrimp. I'm a shrimp eater. And in my countless encounters with these tasty crustaceans, I've never succumbed to any type of sickness or ailment. Until about five years ago. After a trip to a local seafood eatery and their endless shrimp meal, I began to feel pain in one of my feet several days later. It got progressively worse until I was certain I'd fractured my toe. I went to my doctor and after taking off my sock, he chuckled and asked me if I'd had any seafood in the past several days. I told him of my shrimp tail total and he informed me that I had gout. Gout!

In case you arent' familiar with what gout is, it occurs when the uric acid levels in your blood get too high, and those acids crystalize. They typically settle into joints, like my big toe. It is highly painful and can lead to joint damage. Seafood is just one of the foods that can cause a flare-up. Other items include red meat and alcohol. I couldn't believe it. A food that I loved so much had turned on me.

Over the last few years, I've had a few mild cases of gout here and there, but nothing like that very first case. Do I still eat shrimp? Darn right I do. But I try and stay within reasonable limits because I know what happens if I don't. I met with my doctor recently and discussed possibly going on preventative medication for gout. And it turns out that I might need to get the prescription filled soon, because yesterday, Red Lobster announced that my old friend, and now my nemesis, is back.

Endless shrimp is back. Every day. It's time to start fasting and break out my loose-fitting eating jeans. It's time to say 'no' to the biscuits and side salad. There is too much shrimp to enjoy. And yes, it's time to call the doctor and tell him I had no choice. The sign says 'Endless'.



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