Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Pain and inflammation occur when too much uric acid crystallizes and deposits in the joints. Gout is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe. An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable.Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.
Symptoms of gout include severe pain, redness, and swelling in joints, often the big toe. Attacks can come suddenly, often at night.
People may experience:
Pain areas: in the joints, ankle, foot, knee, or toe
Joints: lumps, stiffness, or swelling
Also common: physical deformity or redness
During an acute attack, anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve pain and shorten the length of the attack. Patients with chronic gout can use behavioral modification such as diet, exercise, and decreased intake of alcohol to help minimize the frequency of attacks. Additionally, patients with chronic gout are often put on medications such as colchicine.