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Talking to Your Doctor About Gout
General Tips for Gathering Information
- 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.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Do my symptoms suggest that I have gout?
- Could these symptoms be caused by any other joint diseases?
- What kinds of tests will I need to have a firm diagnosis?
I’ve had one gout attack:
- What are the chances of my having another?
- What can I do to avoid having another?
- When can I expect to feel improvement from the treatment?
- 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?
- Do I have to keep taking medications if lifestyle changes work for me?
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
- Review Date: 02/2017
- Update Date: 03/15/2015