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
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • 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