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If you’ve made new year’s resolutions, consider adding one more to your list: Get your gout under control.
How? These steps will help you get started:
- Visit your doctor.
If you are living with gout or think you have gout, it is critical that you visit your doctor. Since there are many conditions that mimic gout, your doctor will need to listen to your story, do an exam, and might also need to do blood tests or imaging (like an X-ray, ultrasound, CAT scan or MRI).
A confirmed diagnosis means you can start managing your condition.
- Find a treatment regimen – and stick to it.
Now that you have a diagnosis, your doctor can help you find the treatment path that works best for you. This might range from taking daily medication like allopurinol to receiving medication through infusions.
Whatever treatment path you pursue, it’s important that you follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. Even when you’re not currently experiencing a gout flare, continue taking your uric-acid lowering medication to ward off potential attacks.
- Let go of the misconceptions.
Maybe you’ve heard that gout affects only overweight men. Or that cherry juice and apple cider vinegar can “cure” gout.
Myths like these can harm people living with gout and can keep them from seeking or maintaining proper treatment.
- Seek support.
Whether it’s joining a community of other gout patients or sharing your journey with your loved ones, always remember that you are not alone. More than 9 million people live with this condition, and they all deserve hope.
Gout is not curable, but it can be successfully managed. Make 2023 the year you take control of your gout and reclaim your quality of life.