The symptoms of gout usually come on suddenly and severely. A gout attack usually affects only one joint, most commonly, the joint of the big toe. However, the attack may involve more than one joint. Symptoms frequently develop overnight and worsen over the next 24 to 36 hours. Other affected joints include the knees, ankles, feet, wrists, hands, fingers, and elbows.
Gout of the Big Toe
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Symptoms in the joint affected usually include:
Other symptoms may include:
Symptoms are usually more severe in people who develop gout before age 30. Some people will only suffer one gout attack. Most people with gout, however, will suffer a recurrence within two years of the first attack, and further recurrences after that (if the condition is left untreated).
Possible complications of gout include:
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html .
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/ .
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .
The Merck Manual of Medical Information. 17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.
Last reviewed September 2011 by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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