So what exactly is gout? Gout is actually a form of arthritis that affects the joints, and it occurs when there is an excess of uric acid in the body. This excess of uric acid is produced by the liver and by the kidney and then it gets deposited in the joint tissues. This deposition of uric acid is responsible for the painful inflammation that you feel in your joints. The pain of gout can last for hours, and it can be quite severe.
The most common symptom of gout is the acute phase of the disease. During the acute phase, there is an inflammation of the joints. This inflammation can be accompanied by redness, swelling and pain. Sometimes there are also problems with the bones, which leads to bone erosion. The acute phase usually lasts for a few days. After the acute phase, there is a second stage of the disease.
In this stage, called the chronic phase, the joint inflammation persists and may lead to deformities and arthritis. If you have gout, you need to treat it immediately. If you do not treat it, the inflammation will spread and cause more damage to your joints.
The symptoms of gout are quite easy to recognise, and in this article we will cover them in detail, one by one.
1) Joint pain
The most common joint involved in gout is the first metatarsophalangeal joint, followed by the interphalangeal joints. The pain usually occurs in the morning and increases throughout the day and can be triggered by any physical activity (such as walking, running, standing, or even stretching). It usually occurs in one joint, but there may be multiple flares in the same joint. The patient usually feels better after resting for a few hours. The joint pain may or may not be associated with fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, rash, or other symptoms of inflammation.
Gout pain is caused by uric acid crystals that build up in the joints and cause intense pain. It may be accompanied by swelling and redness. In most people, gout causes only one joint to hurt. But in some people it can spread to several joints. Gouty arthritis can also occur in the spine, ribs, hands, feet, and toes. It is usually diagnosed by a doctor who checks for signs of inflammation such as redness, warmth, and swelling.
If you have recurrent gouty attacks, you will need to see your doctor regularly for treatment. In many cases, the doctor will prescribe medications that are used to prevent acute gout attacks from occurring. Medical treatment aims at keeping the frequency of these attacks at a minimum and getting as much relief as possible from each flare-up.