According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, 8.3 million U.S. adults suffer from gout, a type of rheumatic arthritis that causes increased uric acid levels in the blood and the formation of uric acid crystals in joints. Symptoms include joint pain, tenderness, inflammation, redness, and even mobility issues. While some patients are treated by general practitioners, gout specialists including nurse advocates and rheumatologists can better educate and tailor gout treatments based on leading edge research.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of working with a rheumatologist or nurse advocate to treat your chronic gout:
1. You’re unresponsive to traditional gout treatments
General practitioners and even some specialists will often prescribe traditional treatments first. These may include first line medications like oral or intravenous corticosteroids, colchicine, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs). However, not all patients respond well to these medications, which is where the expertise of a gout specialist is beneficial. For instance, pegloticase (marketed under the drug name Krystexxa) is a leading edge recombinant pegylated uricase used to lower uric acid in the bloodstream to reduce gout symptoms and flare ups.
2. You suffer an adverse reaction
Drugs like Krystexxa are administered intravenously. However, in rare cases drugs given by infusion have caused a severe allergic reaction within a few hours post-treatment. This is another reason why it’s important to receive gout treatments by a qualified nurse in a professional healthcare setting where allergic reactions can be monitored closely and treated immediately if they do occur. Nurse advocates are onhand to test your uric acid levels before, provide any medications that may reduce an allergic reaction, to administer treatment infusions, and to monitor you for any signs of adverse reaction during and after your treatment.
3. You have negative symptoms post-treatment
If you do happen to go home after a gout treatment and experience suspicious symptoms—such as hives or rash, swelling of the throat or tongue, accelerated heart rate, anxiousness, and cough, chest pain, or wheezing gout specialist will be on hand to speak to you live.
4. To seek trusted advice
Not only are gout specialists experts in medical treatments, they also have expertise as far as lifestyle and alternative treatments. Basically, you can seek advice from a nurse advocate anytime concerning your symptoms, lifestyle changes (i.e., diet, supplements, exercise, and personal hygiene products, etc.).