Gout is a type of painful arthritis brought on by uric acid buildup in the body. Men are more likely than women to get gout. Other risk factors for gout include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive red meat and fish consumption
Swelling, redness and shooting pains associated with gout are most often felt in the big toe, but may also occur in the feet, ankles and knees. Gout is treatable with medication, and lifestyle changes can help to prevent it from recurring.
Doctors Who Treat Gout
The initial diagnosis and treatment for gout will likely be done by doctors who patients have an ongoing relationship with, including:
- General practitioner: Deals with prevention, discovery and treatment of illnesses in all age groups.
- Internist: Focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of adult illness.
- Gynecologist: Deals with female health.
- Gerontologist: Deals with senior or elder health.
- Nurse practitioner: Focuses on prevention, overall wellness and educating patients about treatment choices.
Once gout has been diagnosed, a patient may need to see one or more of these specialists:
- Rheumatologist: Specializes in the treatment of joint, muscle and bone disorders, most notably arthritis. A rheumatologist may treat gout more aggressively, and will be more knowledgeable about the latest treatment therapies for gout.
- Orthopedist: Specializes in the health and disease of the bones. Rarely, uric acid crystals from gout can create painful nodules that prevent joint flexion. The orthopedist would be the one to surgically remove them.
- Cardiologist: Focuses on health of the heart and vascular system. Patients with gout have a higher risk of heart problems, so their cardiovascular health should be evaluated.
- Nutritionist or dietician: Specializes in diets and supplements. A dietician will devise a meal plan that can help lower uric acid levels and prevent gout flare-ups.