Gout - Symptoms

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What are symptoms and signs of gout?

The characteristic symptoms and signs of gout are the sudden onset of pain, swelling, heat, and redness. This usually affects a single joint. The pain is typically severe, reflecting the severity of inflammation in the joint. The affected joint is often exquisitely sensitive to touch to the point that some patients experience pain from something as simple as pulling the bedsheets over the affected area at night.

Gout frequently affects joints in the lower extremities. The most typical location for gout to occur is the big toe. Podagra is the medical term for a gout attack in the big toe. Gout can also affect the foot, knee, ankle, elbow, wrist, hands, or nearly any joint in the body. When gout is more severe or longstanding, multiple joints may be affected at the same time.

Another sign of gout is the presence of tophi. A tophus is a hard nodule of uric acid that deposits under the skin. Tophi can be found in various locations in the body, commonly on the elbows, upper ear cartilage, and on the surface of other joints. When a tophus is present, it indicates that the body is very overloaded with uric acid. When tophi are present, the uric acid level in the bloodstream has been high for years. The presence of tophi indicates tophaceous gout, and treatment with medications is necessary.

Kidney stones may be a sign of gout as uric acid crystals can deposit in the kidney and cause kidney stones.

Return to Gout (Gouty Arthritis)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Kats n dogs, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

I suffer from gout, as did my mother. Mine, however, did not start in my big toe; it started in the toe next to it on both of my feet. I take 1 tbsp of concentrated cherry juice twice a day at the first sign of a flare-up and 1 tbsp of concentrated cherry juice once a week as a preventative method. So far it has worked.

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Comment from: Bigbird, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 18

I am just getting over a severe gout attack that took me over a day to get under control. I have had a few over the years but this one snuck up on me and I had to really work at it to get the pain under control. My secret to quick and effective control is colchicine and I can usually get the pain subsiding in a couple of hours. The drawback is that it can affect the stomach if abused so I try to limit myself to 6 pills per incident. This time it took 8. Some soreness will remain in the joint for a few days but nothing like the original attack where even a bed sheet touching it was excruciating pain. I have isolated the cause to be a certain brand of rum and the high fructose content of coca cola. Sadly, these items will have to be eliminated from my diet if I want to prevent future attacks.

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