Gout is one of the common types of arthritis that results in severe pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint. Gout typically affects the joint in the big toe. It is a complex and very commonly present type of arthritis which can affect anyone. Gout characterizes as severe and sudden attacks of tenderness in one or more joints in the body. A gout attack can happen suddenly, might wake you up in the middle of the night with the burning sensation on your big toe. Gout makes the affected joint hot, tender, and swollen that even the weight of your blanket on it might become intolerable for you. Later attacks of joint discomfort are likely to affect more joint surrounding the affected joint and last longer.
Gout symptoms might come and go but there are certain ways to manage the symptoms of the disease as well as prevent the flare ups. The symptoms and signs of gout often always occur suddenly and mostly at night. Gout can affect any joint but it attacks the big toe in most of the patients. Other joints which commonly suffer from gout include wrists, elbows, ankles, fingers, and knees. The pain of gout disease is most likely to be severe within the first hour of the onset to 12 hours after it. Once the most intense pain subsides, there is some joint discomfort that might last from a few days to weeks. The main cause of gout in most of the patients is the excess of uric acid in their bloodstream.
With the progression of gout, a person might not be able to move his joint normally. If you are experiencing intense and sudden pain in a joint then you must consult your doctor about gout. Gout that does not get a proper treatment can lead to severe joint damage and worsening joint pain. There is limited range of motion that occurs after gout attack which makes it difficult for the patient to perform daily life activities normally. Seek immediate medical care if you are suffering from inflammation or redness in your joints as well as fever which can be a sign of infection in the body. Mostly doctors use specific medication to treat gout and manage its symptoms.
Gout attacks can come and go quickly and in some cases keep returning with time which indicates that there is slow harming of tissues in the area of inflammation. The exact cause of gout is still unknown but diseases like obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disorders are some risk factors for causing gout. Gout is most common among men but women are also likely to get it after the menopause but men are at higher risk of developing gout. According to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 8.3 million people suffer annually from gout only in America. The symptoms of gout appear due to the formation of crystals of uric acid in the joints and the response of body towards the formation of these crystals. 
1Signs and Symptoms Of Gout
Gout typically becomes symptomatic suddenly without warning. It frequently affects the large joint of the foot such as metatarsal joint of the big toe and knee joint, but can also attack the ankles, elbows, fingers, and wrists. It usually progresses through various stages, and its signs and symptoms are thus are experienced differently according to the stage. These include;
It is essential to recognize that although almost all patients with gout have high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia), not all patients with hyperuricemia develop gout. Before having their first gout attack, most patients will have raised levels of uric acid in the blood for many years. However, there are no definitive guidelines for treatment during this period, especially in the absence of apparent signs or symptoms of gout. This stage of gout with active uric acid in blood but no clinical signs is termed ‘asymptomatic hyperuricemia.’
The risk of an acute gouty attack increases with elevated uric acid levels. But, interestingly, many patients can have attacks with “normal” levels of uric acid, while others will never get an attack despite high levels of uric acid. This can be attributed to genetic predisposition and other socio-environmental factors.