So you have gout. While we wish that was something we could congratulate you on, the reality is that we know better, and chances are, you aren’t too happy about the fact either. However, regardless of your feelings towards it, gout is a new reality for you, at least when it decides to flare up and rear its ugly head. But if this is your first experience with this painful type of inflammatory arthritis, then you may find yourself with more question than answers. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of the right questions to ask your doctor so you can get the answers you need to keep living your life.
Why do I have gout?
Gout is caused when sharp, needle-lied crystals of uric acid are despoiled in the joints which cause pain, inflammation, redness, and heat. There are a number of factors that could lead to the onset and increase a person’s chances of having gout including genetics, age, sex, weight, and preexisting medical conditions like hypertension.
Is gout linked to any other medical conditions?
Gout, or rather, the high uric acid levels associated with it are also linked to such conditions as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity. Typically, if these conditions are present, then treating them will also improve your gout outcomes.
How often will I get gout attacks?
While each case is different, typically, a gout attack will last between three to ten days, and that is with our without the aid of medication. In terms of frequency, some people will only experience one gout episode in their life, while others, especially without treatment or lifestyle changes, will experience them as many as several times a year.
What are my treatment options?
For an acute attack of gout, usually, the medication prescribed is intended to help reduce pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
After the attack has subsided, many sufferers will require regular treatment in order to keep their uric acid levels within a healthy range so as to prevent further attacks from occurring.
Should I change my diet?
Depending on what your doctor says, changing one’s diet could be the best thing possible for treating gout. Eating large amounts of certain foods that contain high levels of purines will increase your chances of developing gout or having a flare if you already have it. Some of these foods include bacon, organ meats, veal, and certain seafood like haddock, trout, and scallops.
Do I need to stop drinking alcohol?
Science has established a known link between gout and alcohol consumption, especially beer, which is high in uric acid causing purine. While it is understood that giving up alcohol completely may be difficult, it is important to take each incident on a case by case basis, and often moderation is all that is required.Advertisement