In an earlier article, I talked about gout and what it is. Sometimes gout can be recurrent. In this case, doctors tend to prescribe certain medications to help prevent future gout attacks. Do you have symptoms that are common to gout? If you do, and have an examination with your podiatrist, he may then refer you to a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions (a rheumatologist).
In this case, it is smart to get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from the doctor. To prepare, you can:
- Note important personal information- like any recent changes or major stressors in your life.
- Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how often they occur.
- Take a family member or friend along… if possible, this is a good idea, as sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. An extra set of ears is helpful to help remember the details!
- Make a list of your key medical info- include any other conditions for which you’re being treated, and any meds you’re taking; as well as any vitamins or supplements.
- Find out if gout runs in your family, and if anyone else tends to get gout in your immediate family.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating a list in advance, can help, as you are less likely to forget the things you wanted to ask, and this helps you make the most of your time with the doctor. Examples of pertinent questions are:
- What tests do you recommend?
- What are the possible causes of my symptoms or condition?
- Are there any treatments or lifestyle changes that might help my symptoms now?
- Do I need to see a different specialist?
- What are the possible side effects of the drugs you’re prescribing?
- How soon after beginning treatment can I expect my symptoms to start to improve?
- Will I need to take medications long term?
- Is it safe for me to drink alcohol?
- Do you recommend any changes to my diet?
- Do you recommend any websites I should check out for more info?
After your various visits with your podiatrist and rheumatologist, you will most likely receive a treatment plan, and have various tests. Hopefully, you will be well on the road to relieving your gout symptoms and will get a plan in place to try to prevent further gout attacks! If you need any further help, please call our office at either of our convenient Brooklyn locations. Dr. Joseph Stuto is here to help!