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Gout DiagnosisGout Treatment

What are the 4 main symptoms of gout & when you should see a doctor

By August 10, 2022August 28th, 2022No Comments4 min read

The main symptoms of Gout are characterized by sudden attacks of excruciating pain in one or more joints, usually your big toe. The severe pain may make moving about challenging. Even the slightest bed cover or blanket pressure can be excruciating.

Some gout sufferers, also known as those with gouty arthritis, claim that an attack starts an hour or two before the flare-up actually begins with a burning, itching, or tingling sensation in a joint. The joint may feel slightly painful or stiff. The characteristic symptoms of gout soon follow. If you experience attacks frequently, you will get familiar with your body’s warning signs.

Gout sufferers occasionally don’t notice early warning indications that a flare is about to begin. They might simply have a severe joint discomfort and wake up in the middle of the night.

Most people experience redness, swelling, and excruciating pain at the beginning of a flare, generally in a single joint. The base of the big toe is where gout most frequently occurs, although it can also occur in other joints, including the elbow, knee, wrist, ankle, and instep.

The affected joint may also feel hot and extremely sore, making it impossible to tolerate any contact with it. Swelling in and around the affected joint may also occur. Red, glossy skin around the affected joint may also peel and become itchy and flaky when the swelling subsides.

Symptoms of Gout attacks nearly generally come on quickly and frequently at night. They consist of:

A lot of joint pain.
Although it can affect any joint, gout typically impacts the big toe. The elbows, wrists, fingers, ankles, and knees are other joints that are frequently impacted. Within the first four to twelve hours after it starts, the pain is likely to be at its worst.

Persistent discomfort.
Some joint discomfort may remain from a few days to a few weeks after the most intense pain disappears. Later episodes are probably more prolonged and likely to involve more joints.

Symptoms of gout - swelling and redness

Swelling and redness.
Affected joints develop swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness.

Limited range of motion.
You might not be able to move your joints normally when gout worsens.

For more information on the symptoms of gout go check out a research article called  “A Qualitative Study Exploring Perceptions of Patients With Gout

Which joints can be affected?

Nearly any joint can develop gout, which can often happen in many joints at once.

The joints towards the extremities of the limbs are more frequently afflicted, such as the:

  • toes – particularly the big toe joint
  • knees
  • fingers
  • wrists
  • midfoot (where your shoelaces sit)
  • ankles
  • elbows

If gout is not treated, it will eventually spread to more joints.


Pattern of symptoms

Gout attacks and symptoms of gout tend to:

  • Occur at night, although they can happen at any time
  • Develop quickly over a few hours
  • Last between three and 10 days – after this time, the affected joint should start to return to normal, but the problem can persist if treatment isn’t started early
  • Come back – you may experience attacks every few months or years
  • Become more frequent over time if not treated

It’s difficult to predict how often attacks will occur and when exactly they will happen.

Have you got symptoms of gout?

A gout attack typically resolves within 3 to 10 days. But if you take care of it, you can recover more quickly. Go see your doctor to confirm that you have gout. They will evaluate you and possibly perform certain tests.

These tests assist your doctor in determining whether you have gout or another condition with comparable symptoms:

  • Test for joint fluid. A needle is used to remove fluid from the uncomfortable joint. To determine whether there are crystals present, the fluid is examined under a microscope.
  • Blood test. Uric acid levels can be determined using a blood test or a Uric Acid Test Meter A high uric acid level may not usually indicate gout.
  • X-ray. Joint images will aid in excluding other issues.
  • Ultrasound. In this painless test, sound waves are used to search for deposits of uric acid.