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Gout signs and symptoms
Like many joint related issues living with gout can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. In mild cases of gout moving can be uncomfortable and even mildly painful. But in more severe cases of gout even moving can be an extremely if not impossible task. The symptoms that are associated with gout are acute, meaning that they occur suddenly, often at night and more often than not without any kind of warning.
The most common gout symptoms include:
Intense Joint Pain. This is by far the most common symptoms of gout. The most commonly affected joint gout tends to affect is the joints in the toes, specifically the large toe. But in more severe cases gout can move into the larger joints such as the ankles, hands, knees and wrists. Pain can last for several days but it is the most intense for the first 12 to 24 hours after it begins.
Inflammation and redness
During a bout of gout pain, the joints that are affected can become inflamed and extremely red. This is because the uric acid crystals are actively injuring the soft tissues around your the affected joint. As the soft tissues are being injured, it is a common bodily response to inflame the surrounding tissues as blood is being directed to the injury in order to begin the healing process. The result is lowered range of movement, extreme sensitivity on the surface of the skin and low to high levels of discomfort.
In most cases of gout pain, the most intense period is only the first 12 to 24 hours. After the more severe pain subsides it is very common for lower levels of pain to remain for a few days and even weeks. The reason for this lingering pain is that the gout crystals have torn some soft tissues around the affected joint. In some cases, the bones themselves can be affected. It may take some time for the damage to heal properly.
Gout and your joints
Gout is primarily caused by the build up of uric acid crystals around your joint. These crystals are a result of abnormally high levels of uric acid in your blood stream. Over time the excess uric acid begins to build up in your smaller joints forming knife like uric acid crystals. It is common to feel the first symptoms and signs of gout in your smaller joints because they are the most fragile and have very little padding. If you go a long period of time without treating gout, crystals can start forming in your larger joints such as the ankle, wrist and in rare cases your knee.
After an attack of gout pain, the crystals will break up, allowing your tendons and other soft tissues to heal. Over time, if you don't seek treatment the crystals can reform causing another gout attack on the affected joint, and possibly causing more dangerous and severe damage to the soft tissues around your joints.