Gout: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Symptoms of gout arise from the deposition of uric acid crystals within joints. This leads to the typical symptoms of arthritis, such as

  • joint pain,
  • joint swelling,
  • sensitivity to touch,
  • warmth, and
  • redness.

The joint pain of gout is typically severe, and a common location is the joint of the big toe. In addition to deposition in the joints, uric acid crystals may be deposited in other tissues, leading to nodules known as tophi. Tophi are recognized as lumps under the skin and can occur in different locations in the body. Most commonly, tophi are found on the elbows, ears, and on the surfaces of joints.

Causes of gout

The cause of gout is an elevated uric acid level in the bloodstream, known as hyperuricemia. This leads to the buildup of uric acid crystals in tissues of the body.

Other gout symptoms and signs

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Rothschild, Bruce M. "Gout and Pseudogout." Medscape.com. May 15, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/329958-overview>.