What is gout medically?
Your doctor sees gout as a form of arthritis. Arthritis simply means swollen joints. Gouty arthritis, the medical name for gout, means swollen joints that are caused by uric acid crystals deposited in and around the joints. Unfortunately, the implication of this definition is a belief that gout comes and goes.
Medically, gout comes and goes, as the strict definition of gouty arthritis implies that gout only exists when you have swollen joints. But inflammation is very difficult to measure.
In its extreme form, as an acute gout attack, there is no doubt that you have gout. When this acute phase passes, there is still low-level inflammation as your joints are destroyed and organs damaged. You will not notice this destruction every day or just experience tingling or numbness. But the destructive inflammation of gout continues daily until you have another flare-up.
The progressive nature of gout means that attacks get more intense, last longer, and become more widespread. The lack of accurate measurement and monitoring allows gout to remain untreated for many years. You have to take control of this situation. Because the chances are high that your doctor’s definition of gout is unsafe for you in the long term.
There is a better definition of gout, and its medical term is hyperuricemia. This means excess uric acid. Unfortunately, as we see in my hyperuricemia guidelines, there are medical disagreements about what level of uric acid is excessive. Despite the fact that leading experts have agreed safe maximum uric acid levels for gout patients, myths persist about what is an acceptable maximum.
These medical definitions of gout do not really help you understand your gout. Better understanding makes it much easier to control your gout. Over the years I have investigated many aspects of gout. I monitor the latest research and professional recommendations on a daily basis. I know that medical definitions of gout are often unhelpful. All gout sufferers are different, and what really matters is: what is gout to you?
What is gout to you?
Common misunderstandings about the true nature of gout have led to many gout myths. I find that the best way to truly understand gout, and what it means to you, is to explore these gout myths. You often get a better understanding of what gout is, by studying what gout is not.
More importantly, if your doctor, or anyone else who influences your health choices, trots out one of these gout myths, you know absolutely that they do not understand what gout is. You can then decide whether to ignore them or educate them. If you choose to educate them, I will give you the medical references you need to help you train your medical team so they can help you better. I am not a doctor, but I can help your doctor find the latest recommendations for gout treatment. This allows you to create a personal gout treatment plan that recognizes your complete medical history.
Over the next few months, I will review all my articles on gout myths, and create specific guidelines that help you educate yourself and your health advisers. If those articles do not help your personal situation enough, ask for more help in the gout support forum.
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