At this stage, it’s also routine to have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) treat early-stage gout. But, it’s important to ask your doctor about his or her experience with gout patients.
Here are some questions to ask your PCP:
- How many gout patients do you treat each year?
- What kind of success have you had with gout patients? Are many flare free?
- How do you get gout patients to be flare free?
- What are the medications you use/prescribe?
- Will any of the current medications I am taking increase my risk for hyperuricemia?
- How does medication work to help my gout?
- How and when should I take my medication?
- Could gout medication interact with other medications I am taking?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- What is the lowest NSAID dose I can take to relieve the pain and/or swelling?
- What should I do if my symptoms are not relieved while taking gout medication?
- How often will you check my uric acid level?
- What potential side effects will I have from medications?
- At what point would you refer me to a rheumatologist?
- Are you confident you can successfully treat me?
Be ready to answer the following questions:
What joints are affected? When did you first notice the pain? Did the pain come on suddenly or gradually? What was the pain like? Were you able to use the painful joint at all during the flare? Was the area hot, red, or swollen? Have you had similar episodes in the past? If so, how long did they last? Did you experience other symptoms, such as fever, general achiness, or a loss of appetite at the time you noticed the pain? Have you noticed any lumps under your skin, especially on the ridge of the outer ear, the fingers, elbows, toes, or around the Achilles tendon (connects the heel bone to the lower leg)? Have you ever had kidney stones? Does anyone in your family have gout or kidney stones?
From the start, it’s important to have an open dialogue with your doctor.
Check out this video to see how your doctor or health care professional shares information with you about your disease … and some of the follow-up questions you can ask.