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.
General Tips for Gathering Information
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.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- 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?
- Should my children be screened for gout?
About Your Risk of Developing Gout
- If other members of my family have gout, am I likely to develop it?
- Can exercise cause gout?
- What can I do to reduce my risk of gout?
- I’ve had gout attacks. What can I do to reduce to reduce my risk of having another attack?
- I suffer from another form of arthritis. Does this increase my risk of developing gout?
About Treatment Options
- 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?
About Lifestyle Changes
- 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?
About Your Outlook
- 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?
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
The Merck Manual of Medical Information.17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.
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