The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

August 19, 2013

Chronic vs. acute gout

(Continued)

Since you are still having symptoms, I think a visit with a specialist is a good idea. A rheumatologist is your best bet for an expert in gout. You may require treatment with other medications, at least for a while. I have had much success with colchicine, given for a few months at the onset of allopurinol treatment. There are several new medications for gout.

The booklet on gout explains this illness in greater detail. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Roach — No. 302, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have had a condition all my life: very little hair on my face, except for mustache and chin hair. My grandfather, father, son and grandson all had or have full beards. Is this a genetic problem, or something I did or didn’t do? This may seem like a small item in view of all your mail, but an answer would be appreciated. — W.E.F.

ANSWER: Facial hair certainly is genetically controlled to a large extent, but the genetics is complicated. At least some of the genetics is X-linked, meaning that it’s your mother’s father that best predicts what your facial hair will be like. However, there are few conditions that are like the classic single gene we learned about in school, and your situation proves that.

I can reassure you that you didn’t do anything wrong or fail to do something right. Since you have children and grandchildren, I can be pretty sure you are OK.

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