- Sustained high levels of uric acid in the blood is a common gout symptom (also see causes of gout).
- Presence of uric acid crystals in joint fluid (see diagnosis of gout).
- Deposits of uric acid crystals around joints and other areas such as the ears.
- Only one or two joints are affected (initially).
- Common affected areas include the feet, ankles and the ball of the big toe.
- Tenderness around an affected joint.
- The skin around an affected joint is red, shiny and painful to touch - a common gout symptom (see gout pictures).
- Moving the affected limb/s becomes painful.
- Chronic gout can lead to decreased kidney function and kidney stones.
"The best medicine I know for rheumatism is to thank the Lord that it ain't gout."
Signs of a gout attack
- A rapid onset usually between 12-24 hours and often occurring overnight whilst an individual is resting.
- Fever or chills developing.
- A fast subsidence. Gout attacks normally subside within hours or days.
Conditions which can precede a gout attack
- Injury to a joint.
- Excessive eating - certain foods can increase uric acid levels (see causes of gout).
- Heavy Alcohol Intake.
- Recent Surgery.
Next: Causes of Gout