The symptoms of gout usually come on suddenly and severely. A gout attack usually affects only one joint, most commonly, the joint of the big toe. However, the attack may involve more than one joint. Symptoms frequently develop overnight and worsen over the next 24 to 48
hours. Other affected joints can include the knees, ankles, feet, wrists, hands, fingers, and elbows.
Gout of the Big Toe
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Symptoms in the joint affected usually include:
- Severe pain
- Extreme tenderness
Other symptoms may include:
- Overall sick feeling
Some people will only suffer one gout attack. Most people with gout, however, will suffer
recurrences, especially if the condition is left untreated.
Possible complications of gout include:
Build up of uric acid deposits called tophi:
- Hard lumps under the skin near or around joints
- Hard lumps at the rim of the ear
- Other parts of the body may be affected such as fingertips, cornea of eye, aorta, spine, or around brain
- Permanent damage to affected joints
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition of the wrists
- Kidney stones, if uric acid builds up in the kidneys
- Kidney damage
Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Gout. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 12, 2013.
Gout. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/gout. Accessed July 12, 2013.
Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated February 13, 2013. Accessed July 12, 2013.
American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
Updated March 2010. Accessed July 12, 2013.
Questions and answers about gout.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Accessed July 12, 2013.
What is gout? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/gout_ff.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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