Can you get gout in your hands and fingers?

We all know that symptoms for gout happen most often on the foot. But did you know that you can also experience gout in your hands? Gouty arthritis is not as common as gout.

When you have too much buildup of uric acid in your bloodstream, the acidity can most likely be concentrated in your hands, which can result in attacks. It’s not as common as gout in your feet but the pain is equally the same. Your wrist, hands, and fingers are at most risk for having these flares.

If you’ve never experienced gout before, you may never realize that you actually have it until you get a diagnosis. Sometimes, you might even mistake the odd pain or stiffness in your hands as just a minor sprain.

Here are the ways to know if you have gout in your hands:

  • You experience swelling in the joints of your hands
  • Simple movements such as clenching your fist or flexing your fingers cause you to feel sensitivity or tenderness in the area
  • You feel a burning sensation in the joints of your hands
  • You feel stiffness and sometimes have difficulty moving your hands
  • The skin in your hand turns bright red and shiny, almost like a red balloon
  • Your finger looks lumpy and appears to have tophi underneath the skin

There are several remedies you can do that may help alleviate the symptoms of gout in hands. If you are experiencing a gout attack, you can:

  1. Grab a basin filled with warm water and Epsom salt. Soak the affected area in water for a few minutes and alternate with ice. The salt neutralizes the acidity while the ice helps reduce the swelling.
  2. Drink a glass of water added with half a teaspoon of baking soda or apple cider vinegar. You can also squeeze a slice of lemon into your drink. All these ingredients are alkalizing which may help halt the gout attack.
  3. Try to relax. Gout attacks are undoubtedly painful; you want a quick remedy and the last thing you think about is relaxing. But keeping calm and breathing slowly might just actually help to oxygenate the blood and reduce the acidity.
  4. Take an anti-inflammatory drug such as indomethacin or naproxen sodium. Your doctor may also prescribe colchicine which is a more powerful drug for gout in hands.

Gout symptoms in your hands can also be prevented by making several lifestyle changes. That means following a low-purine diet, weight, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, drinking lots of water, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.

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Less Pain but Equally Debilitating

Gout flares in your hands may not be as debilitating as those in your feet but you should still treat it with the same caution.

Practically everything you do involves using your hands, whether it’s typing, texting, or carrying objects.

Gout attacks make you less capable of doing these things especially if the affected area is your dominant hand.

Just imagine. If you had a gout attack, you not only miss a day of work but several days or weeks. This is because the pain from gout flares don’t always disappear after 24 hours. Sometimes it can last for days or weeks. That’s a lot of days of work you’re missing. And if you’re a regularly Joe like me, you need to work to earn a living. By the way, we’re only talking about acute attacks here. Who knows how many work days you’d have to miss if it was a serious gout attack.

When you don’t take care of the gout in your hands, you not only risk your health but also your work and income. It’s always best to take caution the moment you find out you have gout in your hands.

Don’t wait for it to get worse.

You can never be too lenient with your health especially with the modern lifestyle being so anti-gout (sugars, trans-fat, alcohol, dairy, stress, smoking, etc.)

Make the lifestyle changes I recommend here on my site and don’t forget to take your proper medication. The thing about gout is that you may need to take medication for the rest of your life to avoid getting gout attacks.

The goal is to lower uric acid and prevent its buildup. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may prescribe you allopurinol, febuxostat, or colchicine.

It should also be noted that certain medications can cause hyperuricemia and interact with your gout medicine.

Several cases found that elderly adults taking medications such as thiazide diuretics, low dose salicylates, cyclosporine, pyrazinamide, and nicotinic acid actually precipitated a gout attack. When physicians increased the dosages for these medicines, the likelihood of a gout attack to happen increased.

The study mentioned above also mentions that those who took less than 25 mg of thiazide diuretics a day did not increase their risk for a gouty attack. If you take aspirin regularly, be careful as even low doses (2g) can actually promote the retention of uric acid in the body.

Have you experience a gout attack in your hands or wrists? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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    11 replies to "Gout and Your Hands"

    • Susan Armstrong

      In 2013 I had blood clots on both lungs and diagnosed with ovarian cancer…(clots coming from mass) . After surgery and chemo treatments I was told cancer was gone but kidney was damaged. I was told it wouldn’t get worse but it wouldn’t ever get better either.
      About 4 years ago I started having dreadful gout attacks in one foot at a time.
      Lately I’ve had an attack in my baby finger of my right hand and it’s now quite deformed and tender always. Three days ago I started a flare up in my index finger. Severe pain…sleepless night. I can’t take nsaids pills because of the damaged kidney so Tylenol for arthritis is the only thing that helps. I don’t drink alcohol and do drink tart cherry juice and /or apple cider vinegar.

    • Gien

      Is L-Arginine bad for gout?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yes! During metabolism, your body converts L-arginine to uric acid which promotes the formation of crystals around joints during a gout attack. It is found in red meats, poultry, lamb and fish. Again limit your intake to about 10% of your daily calories.

    • Stan Johnson

      Great article … I have been suffering from gout since the late 90’s. I gave up meat and became a vegan. My problem is alcohol. I can not drink anything with alcohol in it. Now I have it in my right hand. I actually think gout in your hand is worst than your foot. I will take your advice and try the soaks.

    • LG King

      I have had either gout or arthritis in my right hand for about a year. No flare-ups…just there. Worse at night when sleeping, better during the day.

      I’m on a full-frontal-attack on uric acid. I want to beat this thing. Stopped all wine, fruit juice, processed foods, sauces, salt, sugar, honey. Green leafy vegetables, brown rice, black/red beans…everything freshly made. It’s been 5 weeks and so far no positive effects. Also, no animal products (but that’s been my M.O. for 27 years). and plenty of vigorous daily exercise.

      I figure that if I created it…I can un-create it. I do not want any ‘meds’…time will tell.

      • R Jasin

        You need to realize that even a drastic change in diet can only lower your Uric acid level by a marginal amount. Hyperuricemia needs to be treated by Uric Acid Lowering Therapy drugs. This is scientific fact.

    • Trevor l

      I tried your pills and they gave me severe stomach ache. The herbs don’t agree with everyone. After I stopped taking the stomach became ok. However as a thirty year gout sufferer I can say your advice is generally sound. Avoid coca cola and any red meat.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Trevor!

        Yeah in general dietary supplements work for about 80% of the people, sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you, remember we also have the topical cream for flare-ups that is very popular.

    • Patrick Flaherty

      No not in my hands, on my big toe I am taking medication. But I am 3 months with shingles on my right side from the front of my chest to the middle of my back across my nipple to middle of back was on antibiotic for a week 800 mg, now on pain and tingling sensations across my shoulders on top stiff neck restless in bed but medication helps Neurostill 300 mg capsules.

    • Teboho David Mochela

      Hi I did experienced gout on my fingers. My fingers were becoming numb and I felt pins and needles sometimes it feels so cold and painful.
      Hope you didn’t experienced it the way I did.

    • Charles Vasser

      I had had gout attacks in my hands for the last three years, usually in my thumbs. It makes life almost unbearable. This morning I broke the carafe for my espresso maker because my hands hurt and I couldn’t grasp it properly. Thanks for noting this problem. I will follow your advice.

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