by Alan R

Talking to Your Doctor About Gout

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with gout. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
  • Why did I develop gout?
  • I’ve had one gout attack.
    • What are the chances of my having another?
    • What can I do to avoid having another?
  • If other members of my family have gout, am I likely to develop it?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of gout?
  • I suffer from another form of arthritis. Does this increase my risk of developing gout?
  • Will I have to take medications to control my gout for the rest of my life?
  • What side effects can occur from taking medications for gout?
  • Will these medications interfere with any other medications, supplements, or over the counter drugs I am already taking?
  • Are there any complementary or alternative therapies I should consider?
  • What lifestyle changes will help control my gout?
  • How does my diet affect my gout?
  • Do I have to avoid all foods containing purines?
  • If my gout is under control, can I drink alcohol at all?
  • What possible long-term complications may occur from gout?
  • If I keep my gout under good control, what are the chances that I can avoid long-term complications from the disorder?
  • Am I at increased risk for kidney stones?

References

Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases%5FAnd%5FConditions/Gout. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/gout. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated February 13, 2013. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Gout overview. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html. Updated March 2010. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Questions and answers about gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Gout/default.asp. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed July 12, 2013.

What is gout? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Gout/gout%5Fff.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2013.

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