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A Doctor's View on Gout Symptoms

Read the Comment by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, the primary symptom of gout is pain in the:

  • feet,
  • hands,
  • knees,
  • ankles,
  • fingers,
  • elbows, and
  • big toe.
The affected joints may also cause warmth, swelling, and reddish skin. Arthritis can result from gout. Read the entire Doctor's View

What are gout symptoms and signs?

The characteristic symptoms and signs of gout are

  • sudden onset of joint pain,
  • joint swelling,
  • heat in the affected area,
  • joint 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 very sensitive to touch to the point that some people with gout attacks experience pain from something as simple as pulling the bedsheets over the affected area.

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 significantly 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: Mango, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

I have had swollen left ankle for 6 months, no pain when walking, and slight pain to the touch. I have had many gout attacks the past 6 months. I took prednisone for two weeks, the swelling went away for a few days but came back, not as bad. I take allopurinol daily and colchicine when I have a gout attack. The doctors are baffled.

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Comment from: freefaller0369@aol.c, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 15

I am 48 years old in good shape and woke up one morning with horrible pain on the side of my big toe. It's going on 2 weeks. I have taken and am still taking allopurinol and indomethacin, cherry juice and cherry pills from extract. I drink apple cider vinegar, vitamin C, GoutPro, etc. I drink a ton of water a day and urinate 8 times a day which is almost clear by the way. My pain has subsided a little but now my foot is pretty swollen. Not sure what's going on and what else can I do. I also eat lots of grapes and strawberries!

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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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