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Arthritis Health Center

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Understanding Gout -- Symptoms

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 Jennifer Robinson, MD on March 03, 2015

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