Gout Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Gout is a condition that affects the joints and is considered to be a form of arthritis. This painful condition is caused by an exorbitant amount of uric acid in the blood and causes the joints to become inflamed. The root cause of gout is still unknown, but it does tend to run in families. Gout symptoms include sudden throbbing pain in one or more joints, fever and itchy peeling skin at the area of pain. These episodes may last for a few days and return again in the future.
If you are experiencing symptoms of gout, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. After your initial exam, you may be referred to a rheumatologist. They specialize in the treatment and management of arthritis and other joint conditions.
Before Your Appointment
- Prior to your appointment, there are a few things you should prepare. Make a list of your gout symptoms. Be very specific and do not leave any symptoms out. If you experience your symptoms at night, which is common amongst gout sufferers, make note of this and any other important information related to your gout symptoms.
- Write down any medications you are currently taking and any other medical conditions you may have.
- If possible, bring someone with you to your appointment. Because so much information is going to be given, an extra pair of ears will help ensure nothing important is forgotten.
- Gather any materials you will need for your appointment, including insurance information. You may also want to bring a pen and paper with you to jot down any important information.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Gout
Before you head to your appointment, make a list of any questions you would like to ask your doctor. These can be related to your gout symptoms, treatment options and any other concerns that you may have. Making the effort to create your list ahead of time will ensure that you do not forget any key questions you have. Make sure to be as specific as possible with your questions. It is important to learn as much as you can about your condition and how to treat it.
Example questions include:
- What causes gout and its symptoms? – Your doctor can give you in-depth information about what causes the symptoms of gout.
- Are there any particular tests I should get? – There may be a variety of tests available. Inquire about what these tests entail will and what they will determine.
- Is there anything I can do to relieve my gout symptoms right now? – There may be some things you can do at home to bring yourself some gout relief.
- What treatment options are available? – Find out what kinds of medications are typically prescribed and if there are any alternatives.
- Will I need to take any long term medications?
- What are the common side effects of the drug you are prescribing? – This will give you an idea of what to expect once you being taking your medication. You may not experience any side effects, but it is good to know what is commonly experienced.
- Will I need to make any changes to my diet during treatment? – Certain foods or drinks may aggravate your gout symptoms or medication.
- Will I need to see a rheumatologist? – A rheumatologist specializes in arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions. They may be able to provide you with specific treatments or information your regular doctor cannot.
It is also important that you tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you have and what medications you are already taking. This will help avoid any complications, and your doctor may be able to give you some advice on how to better manage your conditions.
Just as you have your own series of questions, your doctor will also be asking you some questions about your experiences. These may include questions about your gout symptoms, how frequently they occur and whether or not you have a family history of gout. He or she may also ask about your dietary habits and if there is anything in particular that brings on your symptoms. It is very important to be very thorough with your answers and do not shy away from sharing any information that may be related to your condition. Your doctor will need to know as much information as possible in order to provide you with the best gout relief treatment possible.