Symptoms of gout

Gout Symptoms

What are the symptoms associated with gout?

Gout commonly develops after a number of years of build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints and surrounding tissues. If too much uric acid builds up in the fluid around the joints (synovial fluid), uric acid crystals will develop. Men who are between the ages of 40 and 50 are more prone to develop gout; women are more prone to develop gout after menopause. Gout also rarely affects children or young adults, although I was a young adult when I had my first gout attack. The most common symptom of gout is sudden and severe pain in one or more joints; typically your big toe, the most common joint involved, followed by the ankle or foot, the knee, the finger and only 10% of gout sufferers get an attack in the wrist or elbow but 11% get a gout attack in more than one part of the body at the same time and thank God for that. While the first attacks usually involve only one or two joints, multiple joints can be involved simultaneously over time.

Gout flares usually strike abruptly, at night, and without any warning, although they can occur at any time. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first 12 to 24 hours after it begins and an attack can last anywhere between a few hours to 3 weeks. During the gout attack, the affected area becomes very tender and the skin becomes red or purplish and shiny.

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

Another symptom includes swelling in and around the affected area, the inflammation causing it to be very hot and very sensitive; even a slight touch makes it extremely painful.  In some people, the acute pain is so intense that even a bed sheet on the toe causes severe pain. If gout is left untreated, it is more likely to affect more than one joint as it advances. Furthermore, 62% of gout sufferers experience a repeat attack within a year. As inflammation subsides in the affected joint, you may feel the skin be itchy and flaky causing it to peel.

By the time you have the symptoms of a gout attack, uric acid has been building up in your blood, and the uric acid deposits have been building on one or more of your joints. Also watch out after having an illness or surgery, the chances of an attack are higher. Some people may not experience gout as many painful attacks but rather develop chronic gout, repeated episodes of pain and inflammation, which may involve more than one joint. Chronic gout in older adults may be less painful and can be confused with other forms of arthritis. Those with chronic gout develop joint damage and loss of motion in the joints. Tophi are lumps below the skin around joints or in other places. They may drain chalky material.

Tophi usually develop only after a patient has had the disease for many years on the hands, elbows, ears or Achilles tendon (back of the ankle). In addition, later on gout sufferers are more prone to have kidney problems like kidney stones, that’s something you definitely want to avoid since it is extremely painful. Note that people with certain conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are at a higher risk of developing gout. To help manage your gout over the long term, it is important to keep your uric acid level below 6 mg/dL.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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  • Umer usman

    Reply Reply May 28, 2017

    Hi my name is Umer I am a national Rugby Player. I am so much into sports, I do regular exercise every day very hardcore, I am 37 now I always have a high uric acid in me last was about 8.7. Now I have started to take care of myself and I am having regular tablet for last one mouth gouric 40 Mg. My problem is I have many gout attacks up until now but I never felt it in my toe, my feet always burn especially in the summer. I slipped my disc aa well and now day in have a bad hamstring as will for last 4 months which is not going away, the most painful part is my upper part of my knee that hurts and goes away second day. I feel new symptoms in my body like my fingers get still, my shoulder gets stuck, I am not eating any type of meat. I eat rice and some vegetables, as I never eat vegetables before. I eat a lot of junk food and I feel a little sensation in my toe as well but not pain. My feet burn a lot. Please tell me, my uric acid is not lowering and I feel I need to have a checkup again. I have a 3.7 mm stone in my right kidney as well. Please tell me what I should do and how should I keep my gout attack away. Thank you!

    • Hi Umar!

      It sounds like you have a bad round of the gout. If you are suffering from kidney stones too, that means you need to get your uric acid under control. Diet will help but not as much as medication and treatment from your doctor. You need to visit your doctor and treat it properly. I am not a doctor and cannot give you any advice on medication. All I can give you is dietary advice, so best to drink lots of water only for now. Eat only vegetables, legumes, whole grains breads, pastas and rice for now only. Avoid all meat, processed food, junk food like you mention, alcohol, sugary beverages, sugar in general and even dairy if I were you. Until your uric acid is under control and you no longer feel those symptoms. You have to do extreme stuff when you are suffering like that.

      Good luck!

  • Natalie

    Reply Reply April 23, 2017

    I have had gout since I was 9 and now I’m 41. For many years my gout has travelled around my joints. I found out that reflexology helps with my feet joints. I go swimming as it’s low impact on my joints. I started cod liver oil and vitamin B1 and B2, I drink a glass of cherry juice every morning and night. In 4 years I have not had a full blown gout attack. I still take allopurinol.

    But I have tried many things. I know that people who suffer with gout and rheumatoid arthritis lack vitamins and are anemic. Now I hold down a full time job and have a child. All because I looked into different therapies. Plus I have acupuncture as well every 6 months. If you pamper and look after your feet it does help break the crystals up. Every night I rub my feet and toes with a moisturising cream. It works for me!

  • Shankar

    Reply Reply October 14, 2016

    Hi Spiro,

    I live in Canada the way uric acid is measured is different from USA. Anyways after reviewing your web site, I have a few questions.

    1. In your opinion does hypertension cause gout or the other way round ? I am currently on hypertension medication.

    2. Your supplement Nutrigout. Do you know of any side effects by using this supplement along with the hypertension medication?


  • Orlando

    Reply Reply May 7, 2015

    thank you, lastweek i went to a doctor on our public health clinic and as you are suggesting, dr. gave me a medicine allipurinol 100 for 3 months once a day and after 3 months i will have my blood test for uric acid level thank you, keep that information coming im ao blessed i found ur page, i can now understand and manage my gout

  • Orlando

    Reply Reply May 7, 2015

    hello im orlando from phillipines. i suffered from gout since i was 23 and now im 25, since my family cnt afford to bring me to reumatologist my feet always hurt and it came the time that i was almost imobilized. im always searching for the cure but i always failed. i want to thank you for this pages because it educates me and helos me understand more about my gout,

    an you tell me wht hapown to me when my gout atack not on my feet but on my back and when this hapens to me i cried because i cannot get up even if i give all my capacity to get up

    • Hi Orlando! You need to go see a doctor so he can put you on Allopurinol to manage your uric acid levels in your blood. Do this as soon as you can!

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