SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
The signs and symptoms of gout are almost always acute, occurring suddenly — often at night — and without warning. They include:
- Intense joint pain. Gout usually affects the large joint of your big toe, but it can occur in your feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first 12 to 24 hours after it begins.
- Lingering discomfort. After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.
- Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender and red.
When to see a doctor
If you experience sudden, intense pain in a joint, call your doctor. Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and joint damage.
Seek medical care immediately if you have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection.
- Gout. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/gout.asp. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Gout. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/crystal-induced_arthritides/gout.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Becker MA. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of gout. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Becker MA. Treatment of acute gout. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Hayman S, et al. Gout: Is a purine-restricted diet still recommended? Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009;109:1652.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Oct. 25, 2011.
- Demio PC. Gout. In: Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Yu K-H, et al. Dietary factors associated with hyperuricemia in adults. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2008;37:243.
- Becker MA. Prevention of recurrent gout. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Zimmerman B. Gout. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Questions and answers about gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Neogi T. Gout. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:443.