Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the joints, leading to inflammation and pain. High levels of uric acid often result from a diet high in rich foods, such as red meat and red wine. Gout pain can be severe and symptoms of gout may be similar to signs and symptoms of arthritis.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor (e.g., podiatrist) about gout. Print this page, mark the questions you would like answered, and bring it with you to your next appointment. The more you know about gout causes, gout symptoms, and how to avoid gout, the easier it will be to make informed decisions about your health care.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Gout

  • Why do you suspect that I have gout?
  • What do you suspect is the underlying cause for this condition?
  • What is pseudogout?
  • Aside from my diet, what other factors may have contributed to my gout?
  • Does gout run in families?
  • Why does the build-up of uric acid lead to inflammation and pain in the joints?
  • What are the most common signs and symptoms of gout?
  • What should I do if I experience new symptoms or if my gout symptoms worsen?
    Telephone number to call:
  • What types of tests will be performed to determine if I definitely do have gout?
  • What do these tests involve?
  • If I do have gout, how will the condition be treated?
  • What are the risks, benefits, and possible complications of this treatment?
  • If my gout will be treated using medications, what are the possible side effects of these drugs?
  • Is there a cure for gout? Is gout a chronic condition?
  • What complications can occur if gout is left untreated?
  • How can I reduce my risk for developing additional episodes of gout?
  • If my gout is diet-related, what foods should I avoid?
  • Are there any effective alternative treatments for gout in addition to prescription medications?
  • Can you recommend any resources for additional information about gout?
  • Do you recommend that I participate in a clinical trial for patients who have gout? Why or why not?
  • Next appointment:
    Doctor: Date: Time:

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 30 Mar 2009

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2011