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What Type Of Doctor Deals With Gout

What Type Of Doctor Treats Bursitis

Which doctor treats gout? (Hint: It’s not obvious)

Primary care physicians and physical therapists treat most normal cases of bursitis, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. A person with a complicated case of bursitis might need to see an orthopaedist or rheumatologist.

Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sac known as the bursa that cushions a bone from the surrounding muscles, tendons or skin, explains MedlinePlus. Bursitis most commonly occurs in the knee or elbow and results from the overuse of a joint or an injury. Most cases of bursitis improve with rest and the use of pain medicines or ice. In certain cases a physician might inject a drug into the area around the swollen bursa. If the patient sees no improvement after six to 12 months of bursitis, he could need surgery to repair damage.

Time To Call The Doctor

A gout attack will usually go away in about 3 to 10 days. But you can feel better sooner if you treat it. To be sure that you have gout, see your doctor. Theyâll examine you, and they might do some tests.

These test help your doctor know if you have gout, or something else with similar symptoms:

  • Joint fluid test. Fluid is taken from the painful joint with a needle. The fluid is studied under a microscope to see if the crystals are there.
  • Blood test. A blood test can check the level of uric acid. A high level of uric acid doesnât always mean gout.
  • X-ray. Images of the joints will help rule out other problems.
  • Ultrasound. This painless test uses sound waves to look for areas of uric acid deposits.

Diet Changes To Reduce Gout Flare

Part of what causes the build-up of uric acid in your bloodstream is the excess amount of purines in the foods you eat. Purines are a natural substance that your body converts into uric acid for excretion. Purines are found in red meat, seafood, and foods and drinks sweetened with fructose or fruit sugar. Diets that reduce or eliminate those foods will help reduce the purines and reduce the risk of another gout flare up.

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What Is Gout Exactly

Gout is a condition where excess deposits of a crystalline form of uric acid cause medical problems, says Theodore R. Fields, MD, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Uric acid is a normal byproduct of metabolism you produce it all the time and excrete it through urine. But when your body produces too much uric acid medically termed hyperuricemia it can crystallize and accumulate in your joints, causing gout symptoms including joint pain and kidney stones.

The most common problem is gouty arthritis, where a person suffers from inflammation in a joint, Dr. Fields says. Uric acid crystals can also form in the kidney and cause kidney stones, and can also build up in various locations, such as below the skin. These large, visible bumps below the skin are known as tophi.

As with most conditions, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are key for feeling your best and preventing any complications, including permanent bone and joint damage as well as an increased risk of many other health problems.

If you put off seeing your doctor, your gout flares can become more frequent and start to affect other joints. Youll also increase your risk of developing chronic gouty arthritis, which can lead to permanent joint damage, joint deformity, and persistent pain. Read more here about how gout can progress over time.

A Civil War Over Painkillers Rips Apart The Medical Community And Leaves Patients In Fear

What Type Of Dr Treats Gout

In an era when many long-standing medical guidelines such as how often to get a mammogram or how aggressively to target blood pressure are being vigorously scrutinized, the terse disagreement highlights recurring tensions over just what constitutes scientific evidence.

Its true, as the ACP says, that theres a lack of gold-standard evidence in the form of randomized, controlled clinical trials to prove that patients with gout should be put on a long-term drug regimen to lower their uric acid to any specific level.

Strong data just doesnt exist, said Dr. Robert McLean, a rheumatologist with Northeast Medical Group in New Haven, Conn., and associate clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine. It may be the right thing to do in many clinical situations, but we dont have data to say that with certainty, so we cant endorse it.

But rheumatologists argue that the expensive clinical trials that the ACP wants to see are unlikely to be conducted on already approved drugs and that it makes no sense to wait until a patient suffers from a painful flare-up before treating him or her.

They say their own experience in the clinic and numerous observational studies which dont control for the placebo effect show that lowering uric acid prevents the recurring, painful flares that bedevil 70 percent of gout patients and may also prevent permanent bone and joint damage. They recommend reducing uric acid to levels of 6 mg/dL or lower as a matter of course.

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Meet The Best And Right Pain Doctor For Your Gout

Every pain doctor is unique in the way they communicate with and treat his or her patients. Some doctors are gentler with their services, while others offer firm care. In the same way, you may prefer doctors with a certain type of personality to provide your healthcare.

If you want to read more educational and medical content like this, check out our other guides.

Samantha Gaineswrote this article on behalf of FreeUp. FreeUp is the fastest-growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. to get access to the top freelancers in the world.

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Primary Care And Rheumatology

In the U.S., one in three patients under the age of 65 is referred by his or her primary care physician to specialty care annually . Elderly patients are referred at even higher rates, with some data suggesting that patients over the age of 65 receive an average of 2 referrals yearly . Multiple studies have attempted to determine the appropriateness of specialty referrals, but there are no available data, which directly evaluate the chief indication for primary care physician referrals to rheumatology. In a limited practice model in which patient self-referral is prohibited, the majority of patients referred to rheumatology had vague or complicated conditions such as mixed connective tissue diseases or fibromyalgia and fewer had straightforward conditions such as osteoarthritis and gout .

A survey-based review of referrals from primary care physicians at two academic medical centers showed most referrals were motivated by the generalists desire to obtain diagnostic or therapeutic advice or to have the specialist perform a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure . Other studies have shown that primary care providers report inadequate training and a lack of skills and confidence in performing joint exams and procedures, which may help explain these referral trends .

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How Gout Is Treated

Gout is treated with consideration of the specific nature of a patients gouty episode and the length of time that patient has been experiencing symptoms. Podiatric doctors or other types of physicians will consider the frequency of gouty attacks and other factors in a patients medical history when determining a treatment strategy.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Gout

New Gout Treatment Guidelines Published: Communicating with your Doctor

Anyone who has a sudden onset of a hot, red, swollen joint should seek medical care, either with a primary care physician, at an emergency department, or with a rheumatologist . These symptoms can also be due to an infection, loss of cartilage in the joint, or other reasons. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of gouty arthritis for optimal treatment.

If one has been diagnosed with gout and has had more than one attack of arthritis, take the medication prescribed by a physician for these attacks. The individual should be seen by a physician, in the emergency department, or urgent care center if the attack does not respond to this treatment. The individual may need regular medications to prevent further arthritis flares.

Attacks of abdominal pain due to kidney stones may be related to uric acid kidney stones from gout.

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Who Is Affected By Gout

Gout can affect anyone. It usually occurs earlier in men than women. It generally occurs after menopause in women. Men can be three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives. Women reach these uric acid levels after menopause.

People are more likely to get gout if they have:

You are also more likely to develop gout if you:

  • Consume a diet high in animal proteins
  • Consume a significant amount of alcohol
  • Are on water pills .

How Can I Manage My Gout And Improve My Quality Of Life

Gout affects many aspects of daily living, including work and leisure activities. Fortunately, there are many low-cost self-management strategies that are proven to improve the quality of life of people with gout.

For gout in particular:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid foods that may trigger a gout flare, including foods high in purines , and limit alcohol intake .

CDCs Arthritis Program recognizes five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms. These can help with gout as well.

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Risk Factors For Gout

Approximately 4 percent of the U.S. population6 million men and 2 million womenis affected by gout. The following risk factors are associated with gout:

  • Having a diet high in high-purine foods, such as shellfish or red meat
  • Excessive intake of alcohol, particularly of beer
  • Taking certain prescription medications, particularly those used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, or lower extremity swelling
  • Having a family history of gout
  • Being male
  • Being older than age 60
  • Having other health conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or coronary artery disease
  • Having a personal history of gastric bypass surgery

What You Can Do About Gout

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  • Z
  • Gout is a very painful type of arthritis that is characterized by pain, swelling, heat, tenderness, and stiffness in the joints. It is caused by a buildup of needle-like crystals called uric acid in the body that can become deposited in the joints. The deposit of uric acid in the joints is what causes gout.

    Uric acid is a byproduct of another chemical compound called a purine. Purines are normally found in the body. A person may get gout because the body makes too much uric acid, their kidneys do not get rid of uric acid, or because they eat too many foods that are high in purines.

    Gout most commonly affects the big toe. Other areas include the foot, ankle, knee, hand, wrist, and elbow.

    Once you’ve had one gout attack, there’s a chance that you will get more gout attacks in the future and they may last longer and affect other joints. Unfortunately, gout may even become a chronic problem for some people. The good news is that there are many ways that you can prevent or minimize the symptoms of gout attacks.

    Here are some helpful tips for dealing with gout:

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    What Are Causes Of Gout

    Uric acid is generated as we metabolize the food we eat and as the body’s tissues are broken down during normal cell turnover. Some people with gout generate too much uric acid and are medically referred to as “over-producers.” Other people with gout do not effectively eliminate their uric acid into the urine and are medically referred to as “under-excreters.”

    Where To Start Looking For A Fibromyalgia Specialist

    If you went to see a doctor about fibromyalgia a decade ago you might have been scoffed at. This condition is taken more seriously today, but you should find a healthcare professional who will be there for you throughout the journey.

    Fibromyalgia is a complex condition and may require specialists, along with a primary physician, to help deal with its symptoms. A specialist will help in diagnosing the condition, whereas your primary doctor should be one in whom you can confide when you have any concerns.

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    Battle Erupts Over How To Treat Gout No Longer The Disease Of Kings

    It was once seen as the disease of kings, afflicting only the lazy and gluttonous. These days, however, gout is everywhere and a bitter battle has broken out among physicians about how best to treat it.

    A form of arthritis, gout is characterized by unsightly bulges under the skin and incredible pain in the joints. Typically seen in older men, the disease now increasingly afflicts women and younger adults, often accompanied by obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

    It used to be the disease of kings, but now its really the disease of the people, said Dr. Robert Terkeltaub, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

    There are several medicines to combat gout, which is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood, and more are on the way.

    But the American College of Physicians, the nations largest specialty medical association, this month put out new guidelines that call for less aggressive pharmaceutical treatment. Thats angered many gout specialists, who in recent years have created two new professional groups both backed by drug companies one to bolster gout research and the other to promote long-term use of medication to lower uric acid.

    Ways Doctors Treat Gout

    Ask a Doctor: Dealing with gout

    By | Submitted On January 26, 2009

    As you get older your body will begin to experience things that wears it down. If you do not take care of yourself properly you will suffer from many different things. One of the most common problems older people will experience is arthritis. There are several types of arthritis with gout being the most painful.

    Those who have to deal with chronic gout attacks have a hard time dealing with the pain that is associated with it. For some people the slightest touch from the lightest feather can cause them immense pain. There are several treatments that doctors will use to help relieve this pain.

    Doctors will first try rapid prevention and treatment that will help to relieve the pain and to prevent problems in the future. If not treated properly gout can cause kidney damage and can destroy the joints. They will usually provide medications and ways that you can treat attacks while at home.

    Gout can be treated with medications that are used to relieve the symptoms that patients can experience. This treatment will depend on whether or not the patient s suffering from acute attacks or working to prevent attacks that could occur in the future.

    In order to reduce the pain, redness, and the swelling caused by gout during an attack doctors will prescribe:

    Plenty of rest for the joints that are affected One or more medications during the first sign of a gout attack which can include Colchicine, Corticosteroids, and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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    How Do Doctors Diagnose Gout

    Joint aspiration

    • This is the most important diagnostic test. It is the ultimate method of being certain of a diagnosis of gouty arthritis, as opposed to other causes such as an infection in the joint.
    • A needle is inserted into the joint to withdraw a sample of fluid for testing.
    • The fluid is examined under a microscope to see if there are gout crystals or signs of a bacterial infection present. Sometimes other crystals can be found in the joint fluid, such as calcium pyrophosphate, which is caused by an entirely different condition called pseudogout .
    • Gouty arthritis is sometimes diagnosed based on the typical clinical presentation without a joint aspiration.

    Blood tests

    • A doctor may obtain a blood sample to look at cell counts, uric acid levels, kidney function, etc.
    • Unfortunately, the level of uric acid in the blood cannot be reliably used to make a diagnosis of gout. It is normal in approximately 10% of people during an acute attack of gouty arthritis. Moreover, uric acid levels are elevated in 5%-8% of the general population, so the presence of an elevated level does not necessarily mean that gout is the cause of an inflamed joint. Interestingly, the uric acid is typically lowered during a flare of inflammatory gouty arthritis. Therefore, the optimal time to measure the uric acid is after a flare has resolved when acute inflammation is not present.

    Radiographs

    When To Visit A Doctor

    If you are dealing with the intense pain, swelling, redness, and heat that usually indicates the presence of gout, then you should visit a physician. This is also true for anyone who is contending with chills, or a high fever.

    Anyone who has experienced gout can eventually have this condition reemerge, and this is referred to as a gout flare. That might not occur for an extended period of time. But regardless of whether a return takes places months or years after gout has developed for the first time, it is wise to contact a doctor whenever it does.

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    Refractory Or Complicated Gout

    Despite clear guidelines, it is often particularly challen-ging to effectively manage gout with minimal side effects when chronic illnesses complicate the otherwise straight-forward management algorithm. Primary care physicians appropriately and safely treat many patients that suffer from gout while minimizing side effects and maximizing thera-peutic efficacy. In general, primary care providers feel comfortable managing patients with concomitant diseases including diabetes mellitus, CKD, cardiovascular disease, and those with a history of gastrointestinal intolerance to NSAID medications.

    There are times where specialty services are necessary. Primary care physicians consider specialty referral in patients who do not respond to usual care, even when it is modified to their particular needs. These include patients with persistent hyperuricemia and recurrent flares despite titration of conventional medications, or those who present with tophaceous gout, destructive joint changes, or nephro-lithiasis. Generalists almost certainly involve a specialist if immunogenic ULT, like peglitocase, is being considered.

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