Skip to content

Arthritis Health Center

Understanding Gout -- Symptoms

Font Size
A
A
A

What Are the Symptoms of Gout?

Symptoms of gout usually strike unexpectedly. They typically do not last more than a week, but may recur. Although, less commonly, some patients may have chronic pain due to gout. Symptoms of a gout attack may include:

  • Sudden, intense pain in a joint, typically the big toe or ankle, sometimes the knee, hand, or wrist
  • Swelling, inflammation, and a feeling that the joint is very hot
  • Extreme tenderness of the joint to even the lightest touch
  • Red or purple skin around the joint
  • In extreme cases, alternating chills and fever

With recurring attacks, soft fleshy growths may appear; called tophi, they are accumulations of uric acid crystals.

Understanding Gout

Stressed Out Middle-Aged Man
Attacks of gout can be unexpected and excruciatingly painful. More than 2 million Americans suffer from gout, a form of arthritis. Here's what you should know.

Over time, gout attacks may occur more frequently, involve more joints, have more severe symptoms, and last longer.

Call Your Doctor About Gout If:

  • Severe pain in a joint occurs or lasts more than a few days, especially if chills or fever accompany the pain. These may be early signs of infection.
  • You have experienced multiple gout attacks.
  • Side effects (such as a rash) occur while you are taking allopurinol or colchicine.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on April 05, 2014

Today on WebMD

Mature woman exercise at home
Hint: Warming up first is crucial.
feet with gout
Quiz yourself.
 
woman in pain
One idea? Eat fish to curb inflammation.
senior couple walking
Can you keep your RA from progressing?
 
xray of knees with osteoarthritis
Slideshow
close up of man wearing dress shoes
Slideshow
 
feet with gout
Quiz
close up of red shoe in shoebox
Slideshow
 
salad
Video
two male hands
ARTICLE
 
Woman massaging her neck
Quiz
5 Lupus Risk Factors
Article