Gout Symptoms

Gout: Symptoms

Top Symptoms

1. Other related symptoms

With the onset of gout, the body experiences several other changes. Fatigue and tiredness is common. These happen because of the pain which makes even the slightest activity seem very exhausting and enervating. Malaise or that general feeling of being unwell affects almost all those suffering from gout. Daily life becomes a battle against pain. This could result in fevers and in some extreme cases, the fevers worsen into chills too. Walking becomes difficult and even holding things in the hands seems like a challenge.

2. Flexibility loss

Life changes completely. The body is no longer supple and agile. The affected joints completely lose their flexibility. There may also be stiffness in the joints and inactivity will aggravate this feeling. Sometimes, using the affected joint could lead to a grating sound. This is due to the increased friction between the joints. Occasionally, bone spurs or extra bits of bone may protrude around the affected joint. There will also be a lingering discomfort even after the attack has passed. The later attacks will last longer and seem more persistent.

3. Chronic tophaceous gout with tophi

This is the full blown version of gout. It simultaneously affects various parts of the body and thus multiple joints get jeopardized. The crystals of urate begin to accumulate under the skin, giving rise to tophi. These occur in tendons, cartilage tissues and soft tissues. These tophi take time to develop and are found only after a period of suffering with gout. The fingers, toes and other affected joints develop knot-like structures. At this advanced stage, kidney stones start to develop and can result in pain in this organ too.

4. Pain that rises and falls in intensity

Though the condition develops in the joints, the experience of pain is not continuous. The onset of gout usually begins at night. It spreads quickly, and the affected joints become swollen and shiny red. The local temperature rises and the joints become warm to touch. The pain level then gradually worsens from mere twinges to severe and intense pain in an 8-12 hour period. After that, it begins to subside. Sleeping at night becomes a big problem because of the pain, and when it affects the lower extremities, walking becomes a Herculean task.

5. Affected joints

Though gout can affect any connective tissue or joint, there are some joints that seem to have the high susceptibility. In 90 percent of the cases, the big toes of both feet get affected. It becomes hard and painful to even bend them. The other common sites on the leg that get affected are the knees, instep, heels and ankles. All this will lead to severe difficulty in walking. Hands, too, get affected but not as frequently as the legs. When gout is found in hands, the fingers, the wrists and the elbows are the affected joints.

6. Acute intermittent gout

This is a stage that happens after the asymptomatic hyperuricemia. Here, the symptoms begins to show. There is severe pain in one or some of the joints. Note however, that not all joints are affected. It may start with either the big toe or a finger. The joint in question becomes inflamed and painful. If it is not treated, the condition lasts for about two weeks before disappearing. If treated with medicine, however, it heals faster. This does not imply that you have cured gout. It can recur after a few weeks, months or even years.

7. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia

The is one of the earliest signs of gout. The term refers to the excessive accumulation of uric acid in the blood. Though there are elevated concentrations of urate crystals, none of the symptoms of gout appear. Thus, it cannot be made out unless one does blood tests. This is a bio-chemical abnormality that happens either because of the excessive urate crystals production in the body or because of the decreased or absence of uric acid excretion. This can happen because of the decreased kidney function or a total renal failure.

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