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Gout - Symptoms

Symptoms of gout include:

  • Warmth, pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness in a joint, usually a big toe joint camera.gif. This symptom is called podagra. The pain often starts during the night. It may get worse quickly, last for hours, and be so intense that even light pressure from a sheet is intolerable.
  • Very red or purplish skin around the affected joint. The joint may appear to be infected.
  • Limited movement in the affected joint.
  • Peeling and itching of the skin around the affected joint as the gout gets better.

How symptoms vary

How, where, and when the symptoms of gout appear vary.

  • Some people may not experience gout as many painful attacks. Instead they have gout nearly all the time (chronic gout). Chronic gout in older adults may be less painful and can be confused with other forms of arthritis.
  • Gout may lead to inflammation of the fluid sacs (bursae) that cushion tissues, particularly in the elbow (olecranon bursitis) and knee (prepatellar bursitis).
  • Gout can also affect the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.
  • Symptoms may occur after an illness or surgery.
  • Gout may first appear as nodules (tophi) on the hands, elbows, or ears. You may not have any of the classic symptoms of a gout attack.

There are many other conditions with symptoms similar to gout.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 12, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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