develops after a number of years of buildup of
uric acid crystals in the joints and surrounding
tissues. Symptoms include:
- Warmth, pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness
in a joint, usually a
big toe joint. This symptom is called podagra.
- Pain that starts
during the night and is so intense that even light pressure from a sheet is
- Rapid increase in discomfort, lasting for some hours
of the night and then easing during the next few days.
- As the gout
attack subsides, the skin around the affected joint may peel and feel
Other symptoms may include:
- Very red or purplish skin around the affected
joint, which may appear to be infected.
- Limited movement in the affected
Symptoms of gout vary.
- Symptoms may occur after an illness or
- Some people may not experience gout as many painful
attacks but rather develop chronic gout. Chronic gout in older adults may be
less painful and can be confused with other forms of
- Gout may first appear as
nodules (tophi) on the hands, elbows, or ears. There may be no
classic symptoms of a gout attack.
By the time you experience the symptoms of a gout attack,
uric acid has been building up in your blood, and uric acid deposits have been
forming on one or more of your joints.
The big toe joint is most
commonly affected. But the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers,
and elbows may also be involved. Inflammation of the fluid sacs (bursae) that cushion tissues may develop, particularly
in the elbow (olecranon
bursitis) and knee (prepatellar bursitis).
There are many
other conditions with symptoms similar to gout.
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