Signs Of Gout is the first step in the I Have Gout program.
More specifically, you need to determine what are the signs of your gout.
What are the symptoms that make you think you have gout?
What signs of gout are you going to seek to control, or learn to live with.
I firmly believe that all gout sufferers should take control of their gout diagnosis. Yes, it is for your doctor to supply his medical diagnosis, but you must understand what this means to you. You must start by defining what signals from your body you associate with gout. Are you concerned about pain, lack of mobility, swelling, redness, strange lumps, or what?
- Signs Of Gout
- End Acute Gout and More
- Your Symptoms Of Gout
- Is It Tophaceous Gout Or Swollen Joints?
- Uric Acid Test To Start
- Gout Diagnosis At Last
- Ignorance Causes Gout
Later in the program, I will explain various common symptoms of gout, as well as a few rare ones. This might prompt you to reassess your own signs of gout, but for now we start with whatever symptoms are concerning you today.
Far too many people see lists of gout symptoms, then try to justify that they do have some symptoms, or worry that they do not have certain symptoms. This is not a good start to your diagnosis plan. You have to start with your own concerns. Gout has many different symptoms, and effects people in different ways. You have to start this process by focusing on yourself.
For many people, the signs of gout are obvious – a very painful toe, ankle, knee, wrist, or other joint. Some gout sufferers do not get the painful flares of acute gout, but notice yellowish lumps under the skin. Others get swelling, redness, numbness or other feelings, including feverishness. To assess your own personal signs of gout, examine and think about your body, and how you are feeling. Pay particular attention to joints, or unexplained swelling.
Personal Signs Of Gout List
List all the things you are not happy with. Consider what you regard to be normal, then include anything that is abnormal.
When I first experienced unexplained joint pain, my right ankle was extremely painful, swollen, and difficult to move. Looking back, I remember other feelings including: numbness in my foot; and redness around my toes. At the time of the gout flare, I was only concerned with being able to walk without pain. I struggled to get an accurate diagnosis as ankle pain was not deemed to be typical of gout. Had I thought about, and listed, my other symptoms, I might have got a gout diagnosis sooner.
Because you are unique, your experience may well be different. Your best start is a complete list of everything that you think might be associated with gout. Some of those things might turn out to be unrelated to gout, but a complete list is best. You can return to your Personal Signs of Gout List after diagnosis to see what other explanations there may be.
Personal Signs Of Gout Statement
Your personal list of signs of gout is useful, but might not be inspiring. I recommend that you select those elements that are most important to you, and add some other statements about how your symptoms are affecting your life.
Going back to my personal example, though numbness and redness in some joints concerned me, I was most concerned with my stiff, swollen, ankle, that was preventing me from working. I was determined to find out what was ailing me, and what I could do to return to work. I went to my doctor with this, and passed responsibility to him. Now that I am older, and wiser about gout, I recommend a slightly different approach for gout sufferers.
It is vital to consult your doctor. However, it is also vital to recognize that if you have confused, gout-like symptoms, the only specialist worth consulting is a rheumatologist. There is no point seeing orthopedics, radiology, podiatrists or any other specialists first. If they are relevant or required, your rheumatologist will involve them later. We will cover gout specialists in more detail at Step 6.
You may not need a specialist. I have spoken about obvious signs of gout, and you may get a confirmed gout diagnosis immediately from your family doctor. In that case, you probably do not need help from GoutPal at this stage of managing gout. But, this program is all about helping people who cannot get a clear diagnosis. For that, you must start with a clear statement of purpose. Why are you seeking a gout diagnosis?
This leads us to prepare a Personal Signs Of Gout Statement. It is a foundation for your gout diagnosis plan. It keeps you focused on what is important, and lets you ignore the distractions of ideas and suggestions from people who do not understand your personal symptoms.
In my case, had this program been around all those years ago, I would have said something like:
I need to test my ankle for the likelihood of gout, so that I can arrange proper treatment and stop interrupting my work. I want to understand if recent redness around my toes and numbness across my feet is related to gout or something else. I will work with a gout specialist to test my symptoms and try to understand what causes them.
Your statement will be totally different in wording, but similar in spirit – it must address your personal circumstances, and it must address your needs and desires.
Signs Of Gout: Next Steps
Now, is the time to create the list of of your gout symptoms, and create your Personal Signs Of Gout Statement. If you need help with this, please ask in the gout forum. If you are not sure why you need to do this, please read the introduction to I Have Gout: Live Without Gout Pain.
Next, you should move on to I Have Gout 2: End Acute Gout and More. I will include a list of links to all steps here when I complete the guidelines.
What are your signs of gout?